Caretaker boss Tony Philliskirk heaped praise on Oldham's players after they beat MK Dons 3-1 to earn a first victory in 10 league games.
Philliskirk, the Latics' long-serving head of youth, was placed in temporary charge after Paul Dickov's decision to step down as manager. And, although he is not thought to be in contention for the full-time job, Philliskirk's side rose to the occasion with a convincing win against the out-of-form Dons.
Philliskirk said: "I can't praise the players enough for everything they have given to myself and the club over the last few days. Obviously we are delighted with the result, but I'm also pleased with the way it was achieved against a team who can play outstanding football.
"I think dropping into the bottom four this week had a big psychological impact on the players and you could see their desire to win the game. Nobody wants a relegation on their CV and the senior players in particular came to the fore. They know it's vital that we stay up and they gave an excellent performance."
Oldham went ahead after 22 minutes when visiting captain Dean Lewington lost possession. Lee Croft picked out Lee Barnard who fired a shot into the far corner of the net for his second goal since arriving on loan from Southampton.
The Dons levelled after 39 minutes, Daniel Powell reached a long pass from Jon Otsemobor and smashed in a shot from 14 yards out, but the hosts restored their lead moments before half-time as the unmarked Jean Yves M'voto headed home Jose Baxter's free-kick.
And the Latics struck again after 53 minutes when on-loan Watford striker Chris Iwelumo converted from close range after the Dons failed to deal with Jordan Obita's cross.
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was furious with his team after they suffered a third-straight defeat.
He said: "This is the first time I've ever said sorry to the chairman for the way we played. I would also like to apologise to the fans because that performance was just not acceptable.
"I have told the players exactly what went wrong, but anybody could have walked into the game and seen we weren't good enough. I can't defend that performance and I'm not going to try."