Gus Poyet heaped praise on Sunderland after they recorded their first clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win over Manchester City.
Phil Bardsley struck his second goal of the season – and second in five days – in the 21st minute as Sunderland registered a fourth consecutive 1-0 victory over City at the Stadium of Light.
The triumph represented Poyet’s second win in four Premier League games since taking charge of the club last month, and he hailed the attitude of his players.
“They deserve all the credit,” he said. “They are the ones on the pitch. We can plan; we can talk; we can train but at the end of the day the players are on the pitch and need to do it and they were outstanding.
“Tactically it’s difficult to explain but we talked a lot, and tried to convince them it was possible – especially to keep a clean sheet against a top, top team who have scored seven and five in their last two games.
“It just shows that if we believe and we are convinced I think it (avoiding relegation) is going to be possible.”
The Uruguayan reserved special praise for Wes Brown after the defender produced a solid display in his first league start for 22 months.
Poyet added: “Credit to him (Brown) – I was thinking to put him in straight away when I arrived at the club, but for someone reason we felt he was two or three weeks away. “