Sam Allardyce heaped praise on Lee Cattermole, Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini after Sunderland's superb 3-0 win over relegation rivals Norwich City.
Borini opened the scoring from the penalty spot before setting up Jermain Defoe for a crucial second at Carrow Road.
Livewire sub Duncan Watmore netted a third in added-on time after being played in by fellow sub Seb Larsson.
Captain Lee Cattermole was at the heart of everything good about Sunderland's play and a beaming Allardyce moved to praise his players.
Allardyce said: "Catts himself will tell you he has been here before, too many times.
"He wants to make sure we get out of it again and if we do, that will be great.
"But he sets an example with how he gets around the pitch, and he was very good.
"It was a huge moment for us to win the game.
"Like I said, we would try to win it but if we couldn't do that we had to make sure we didn't lose it, because that would have meant Norwich would have gone seven points clear of us.
"Now it's only one point, and we have a game in hand, and a better goal difference."
Borini scored and provided an assist in the early kick-off, a key contribution as Sunderland recorded a crucial win that puts them within a point of safety.
Allardyce added: "He works very hard at his game, he is always first in and last away.
"We wanted a little bit more in the final third, not from a goal point of view but from an assist point of view, and he gave that.
"He put some really good balls across the box, and the key one was the one for Jermain Defoe's goal – it was played in the right area for Jermain to tap in.
"You need that quality in the final third to make the chances you need to win a game."
And on Defoe, who netted his 16th goal of the season for Sunderland, Allardyce added: "For me, the myth that he can't play up front on his own has been put to bed.
"Since we've done it, which has taken a long time because everybody told me he couldn't do it, and he has continually scored goals.
"We have to play a different way because you can't play off him, you have to get the ball into wide areas and through midfield."