Gary Rowett saluted the resilience of his Burton Albion side after they ground out a 1-0 win to move closer to an automatic promotion spot.
Loan signing Callum McFadzean's goal secured a crucial victory for the Brewers and left Plymouth Argyle looking like outsiders for a place in the Play-Offs.
Burton boss Rowett said: "I'm the biggest advocate of playing exciting football but it looks at the moment that solidity is our strength.
"We knew that they would throw three big men in there to try to break us down in the second half, but we defended fantastically well and managed to hang on to the three points."
Burton could have been more than a goal to the good after dominating the first half.
Billy Kee had a 25-yard shot tipped over by Jake Cole while Jimmy Phillips and Damien McCrory both hit the woodwork.
Burton's pressure paid dividends in the 26th minute when McFadzean steered in a 10-yard shot after a mistake by Neal Trotman.
Rowett said: "The first half was probably as well as we've played at home all season.
"We tried a slightly different formation, which allowed the midfielders to get a bit closer to the front two, and it worked really well.
"Our link-up play was excellent and possibly we should have made more of the situations we created.
"We 'd love to go on and win games by three or four goals, but at the moment it does look as though that solidity is our strength.
"We've got to make sure we don't lose that in the remaining five games."
The visitors came to life after the break but Reuben Reid's shot was deflected the wrong side of the post and Conor Hourihane could only shoot into the arms of goalkeeper Rob Lainton.
Manager John Sheridan was heavily critical of his side, who have now taken only one point from three games.
He said: " I've told the players how I feel because I'm very disapponted with the way we played.
"We're trying to get in a position we're we can challenge for something, but I thought the difference between the teams was Burton played like a team that wants automatic promotion.
"We played like a side who are happy just to stay in the league. I very rarely have a go at my players, but a performance like that is unacceptable.
"I usually just have a few words about how the game has gone, but we can't come and perform like that.
"We just did not get going, we didn't disturb them in the middle of the pitch, and the goal just about summed up the performance.
"We just thrown away a great opportunity to improve our position - just as we have done in the last two games."