Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson was full of praise for his side's sterling rearguard action as they snatched a 2-1 win at his former club Hartlepool.
On a wet and windy night, the Blades maintained their unbeaten league record and moved into the top six in the process thanks to a committed display that repelled constant home pressure. The Blades needed an 88th-minute winner from Paul Gallagher to secure victory.
Wilson, who managed Pools from 2006 to 2008, said: "It was determined and dogged, very dogged. Conditions made it a very confrontational game and the swirling wind saw balls played long holding up, which caused problems for centre-backs and strikers alike at times.
"The referee sometimes doesn't see what's going on which frustrates fans and players alike, but it's a hard-earned three points for us and one we are pleased with.
"I said to the boys afterwards that our best football was played after they scored their equaliser. That pleased me because we didn't change our ideas and get involved in a one-directional game and we scored a very good goal for it.''
The Blades took the lead after 27 minutes when Dave Kitson headed in Tony McMahon's right-wing cross from close-range. Pools went close to a leveller when Tony Sweeney headed against the crossbar from close-range and then Andy Monkhouse shot into the side-netting after robbing McMahon of the ball.
Pools equalised after 77 minutes, Steve Howard heading in his first goal of the season since returning to the club from Leicester. But Neale Cooper's side succumbed to Gallagher's low, late finish.
Pools remain second bottom, but Cooper said: "It was so much better, we created numerous chances and we were after a big reaction - it's not been good enough overall, but I'm so proud.
"We were up for it from the word go all over the park. I made changes and the players who came in were very good. It was like watching an old Hartlepool team, like the one I used to have here.
"No-one is more fed-up than me about our league position and, although we lost like that, I'm so proud of them.''