Paul Ince praised the character of his depleted troops as youngster Tom Barkhuizen climbed off the bench to score his first goal for the club and give Blackpool a 1-0 win over Reading.
In a low-key affair the Seasiders had to utilise the full depth of their squad with 20-year-old Barkhuizen proving the surprise winner, firing home from just outside the area in the 75th minute.
And while Ince revealed Barkhuizen would have probably been watching from the stands if he had been able to select a full strength XI he was delighted with the effort of his players as they moved to the top of the table on goal difference.
"I'm happy we've won against a team that will be up there for promotion at the end of the season," said Ince.
"When you look at us, talent alone won't win you matches, you have to have a bit extra and that's what got us through.
"We lost (Craig) Cathcart, (Isaiah) Osbourne before the game and then (Gary) Mackenzie during the game. How he isn't in the Scotland squad absolute staggers me.
"It wasn't the greatest game but when you've got 20 minutes to go and you've got a midfielder at right-back, a left-back on the wing, a striker in midfield, we didn't let it bother us.
"Ideally, if I had a full strength squad Tom Barkhuizen might not have been on the bench. I told him to enjoy the moment and don't think about it too much.
"He's been chomping at the bit and I thought he'd missed his chance to shoot but he took it so well. His composure was superb, he didn't panic."
Reading have now won just once in four outings since dropping back in to the Sky Bet Championship and struggled to create much against Blackpool, although Royston Drenthe saw a free-kick well saved by Matt Gilks and Jem Karacan's 18-yard effort came back off the crossbar.
Royals boss Nigel Adkins conceded his side need to tighten up at the back if they are to start climbing the table.
"We came with a desire to win the game," said the former Southampton manager. "We were on the front foot for the last 15 minutes of the first half and we've had two or three great chances and then we did the same in the second period.
"Royston was causing problems doing well and Adam Le Fondre went close with a chance, but we didn't take our chances.
"We made a mistake at the back for their goal and fair play to the Blackpool player for taking advantage of that but we've got to be doing better in that situation.
"We've come away from home and there are no easy games. It was a very slow game but we got ourselves into the game. There were reasons the game was slow and well done to Blackpool because they've got the three points.
"We wanted a clean sheet today and there's no reason today that we shouldn't have done that. It was a poor goal to give away, but from my point of view we should've done better. We had possession and should've kept it."