Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Kenny Jackett and Brentford boss Mark Warburton both claimed the next month will prove crucial in their sides' respective battles to cement a top-two spot.
Wanderers leapfrogged the Bees with a 3-0 smash-and-grab win to end the Londoners' 19-game unbeaten run and consign Warburton to his first defeat.
James Henry's strike and Michael Jacobs' brace sealed the points for Wolves in a game of few clear-cut chances.
Brentford dominated possession throughout, but when the chances fell, it was Jackett's side that snapped them up.
Jackett said: "Brentford are a very good, well-run club and they probably had more of the ball, but the shots and shots on target were in our favour.
"After the goal just before half-time the second half was set up for us to counter and get more goals, but I always felt we needed a second or third because Brentford looked strong."
Henry broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, looping a speculative effort over flat-footed Bees goalkeeper David Button.
Nouha Dicko split the home defence with a superb pass in the 72nd minute to send Jacobs clear to toe poke home a second.
And the win was complete with minutes remaining when Scott Goldbourne twisted his way to the byline for Jacobs to curl home a beauty from the edge of the box.
Brentford boss Warburton was philosophical in defeat. He said: "If you're asking me if I'm going to hit the panic button after that, then the answer is no.
"We've just gone 19 games unbeaten and gone toe-to-toe with a very strong Wolves side, who did slightly more on the day. "
He added: "Obviously we're disappointed, but we are in a very good place with two games in hand on the top side, and a point behind."
Both managers said the depth of squad and conditioning of their players could prove vital in the next month, when both Brentford and Wolves have seven games.
Warburton added: "The higher you get the finer the margins are.
"We perhaps didn't create enough and didn't look as dangerous as we have in recent weeks.
"We have to be more clinical, but this game was always only going to be about three points.
"As long as my players learn from it, and I know they will, then this defeat is part of the experience."
Jackett agreed and said: "We're pleased, but it is still very tight at the top and March will be a crucial period.
"It is exciting, challenging and good competition."
Brentford looked the better footballing side of the two, but created little against a well-drilled Wolves defence.
Alan Judge's free-kick on the hour-mark stung the fingertips of Carl Ikeme, who also reacted quickly to tip Jonathan Douglas' rasping drive past the upright.