Lee Johnson admitted Bristol City had to overcome a 'top-quality' Wigan Athletic side to pick up a valuable away win at the DW.
Latics enjoyed most of the ball for long periods but were unable to do much with it in the final third.
And City made them pay when substitute Jamie Paterson and the impressive Famara Diedhiou scored in the space of three minutes late on.
Johnson, though, says his side had to dig in during the first period when Paul Cook's men threatened to take control.
"We had to ride out a 20-minute spell where I thought Wigan looked a top-quality side," Johnson acknowledged.
"We had to change the formation a bit, to get more of a block in midfield, and then counter.
"After defending well, I thought we gave ourselves a platform to break at every opportunity and we looked dangerous."
Johnson was forced to throw on Patersobn at the break, after Marley Watkins pulled up lame towards the end of the first half.
And the City boss was reluctant to take too much praise for a substitution that ended up winning the game.
"Enforced, inspired, depending on how you want to look at it!" Johnson smiled.
"Obviously you've a number of boys to pick from, and we decide to put Pato on.
"And he's really got that bit between his teeth.
"We allowed him to go out on loan, effectively Derby sent him back, and we needed to have a serious conversation.
"When Jamie Paterson's mindset's on it, he's up there with one of the best touches and wrigglers and ball manipulators.
"I was very, very pleased with him today, and he's a top player when he's in that mood.
Johnson also hailed Diedhiou, who saw a goal chalked off for offside in the first half and could easily have ended up with a hat-trick.
"To be honest, his form over the last six or seven weeks, he's deserved a goal," he added.
"In the first half, that's a goal! It's an unbelievable strike, and they've given offside against Marley Watkins who is 30 yards away.
"He's done it in the second half as well, and it's a great save from the goalkeeper.
"But he's picked himself up and been there to score the second goal, and he definitely deserved that."