Reading manager Steve Clarke hailed his side after their 2-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday night.
Jamie Mackie opened the scoring to give the Royals a first-half lead, but Chris O'Grady brought the sides level from the penalty spot early in the second period. However, Mackie fired his side back in front three minutes later, and they held on to win 2-1 and take all three points.
"It was a big win for us," Clarke told www.readingfc.co.uk
. "Brighton were just below us in the league so it was important to get some distance between us and them, and more importantly to get a bigger gap away from the bottom three.
"We spoke long and hard before the game about replicating the desire and energy from the weekend, and getting a couple of goals, and we managed to do that tonight.
"It was important to put in a good home performance because we've lost the last three games here and not scored any goals. We showed a lot of grit, determination and character.
"We created a lot of chances, and at half time I felt we should have been out of sight, my one criticism was that we didn't come in comfortable and two, three, four goals ahead.
"For five minutes we lost our way but we dug deep, showed resilience, came through and deservedly got the winning goal."
In the opposite dugout, Chris Hughton was disappointed with the Seagulls' performance at the Madejski Stadium.
"We probably didn't deserve anything," the Brighton boss said. "We rallied well in the second half but, after getting back in the game, we then conceded again. That was disappointing.
"It was a hard-fought Championship game with both teams wanting to win. There was a lot of endeavour but they showed better game management than we did. Our intentions were good but, over the 90 minutes, I can't say we deserved to win."