Nigel Clough praised his jaded Sheffield United side after they followed up their midweek FA Cup win at Fulham with a 2-0 victory over fellow Sky Bet League 1 strugglers Shrewsbury Town.
First-half goals from Ryan Flynn and Stefan Scougall saw United end a run of four league games without a win.
Flynn scored after 11 minutes with a low shot from inside the area after getting on the end of a low cross from Scougall.
Scougall added a second goal six minutes later with a 20-yard effort which just evaded the diving Chris Weale in the Shrews goal.
Blades boss Clough said: "It was a hard-working performance and I'm pleased with the clean sheet, certainly.
"To get the two goals early settled us down and we didn't sit back. We made Shrewsbury work very hard to create chances against us.
"There are a lot of tired legs. I decided to go with all of the lads who featured the other night (against Fulham) and they did well. It was a very professional job.
"(Jamie) Murphy and Flynn usually have great legs but even they were tired.
"Sometimes you have to grind them out, be professional and be more concerned about stopping the opposition than creating yourself, especially when you have got a two-goal lead.
"We had that against Bradford the other week and then lost the lead so we didn't want to do that again .
"Being second from bottom, we needed the three points. Now all of a sudden we're fourth from bottom and we've got games in hand on teams above - we've just got to make them count."
Shrewsbury caretaker manager Michael Jackson had few complaints about the result.
He said: "We didn't do enough to get something from the game.
"We had a lot of the ball in the first half and quite a bit in the second half but we didn't do enough with it, especially in the final third.
"I wanted us to play a lot quicker. They were getting a lot behind the ball and we didn't do what we should have done, which was disappointing.
"I said to them before the game that I wanted the ball to go forward quicker into front men and wide men.
"I told them a half-time to make sure that the ball goes forward quicker in the first 15-20 minutes, but we still roll it out at the back and that suits them down to the ground. That's disappointing.
"We've been more positive recently going forward with the ball. They dropped behind the ball and no team has done that against us in the last few games.
"I trust myself and my judgement and they've got to follow what I tell them to do because it's done for a reason.
"That's gone now and we've got to look to pick up three points at Port Vale next week.``