Watford boss Walter Mazzarri says there can be “no doubts” they deserved the three points against Sunderland.
And the Hornets boss said it was “fundamental” they beat Sunderland to maintain their seven-point gap to the bottom three sides.
Miguel Britos’ second-half header proved the difference, with Sunderland stopper Jordan Pickford’s goal finally breached.
Mazzarri had words of praise for the Sunderland and England Under-21 international who had kept David Moyes’ side in it.
“It’s very important because it was fundamental we won. We wanted a good performance and we got it.
“The only thing is that in the first-half we should have scored at least one, but it was a very deserved win, there are no doubts about this.
“Their goalkeeper played very well, but we need to improve in the last 25 metres of the pitch and we will work on this more.”
Ex-Sunderland defender Younes Kaboul was forced off with a hamstring injury in the first half.
Mazzarri added: “He’s a very important player. It doesn’t look good.”