'No more than we deserved', insists Wigan Athletic chief after 'proudest moment in football'
And although Latics remain bottom of League One on goal difference, the players showed their commitment to the club and the shirt remains as strong as ever.
"To be honest, after the last few weeks, it's no more than what the lads have deserved for their hard work and commitment," said Richardson.
"All the credit goes to the lads in the dressing room, the lads out there on the pitch, who have had to deal with so much over the last few months.
"To continue to put the shirt on and work as hard as they have done in such difficult circumstances is of huge, huge credit to them.
"They've absolutely deserved whatever bit of luck we've had today, and we're delighted to get the result at the end.
"The lads know what I require, and it's non-negotiable...represent themselves as best they can, and work as hard as they can for the club and the shirt.
"Again we've done it the hard way - we lost Matty Palmer yesterday, and Kal Naismith during the game - but the lads stuck together and got the job done.
"It's up there with one of my proudest moments in football.
"To come away from a place like Sunderland with a win is a great feeling and it's a great win.
"Off the back of what's happening at the club, it feels even better.
Acting manager Richardson was particularly delighted for Joseph, the Scotland Under-19 striker who once again ran his blood to the water, ploughing the lone furrow up top.
"He'll remember that for the rest of his life," recognised Richardson.
"And probably the only negative was the fact there weren't 30,000 inside the stadium to see it.
"Kyle probably typifies what this whole football club's been going through this past six months.
"He's a talented young kid who's been given an opportunity probably 18 months earlier than he might have expected.
"But he's got his boots on, got his head down and thrown himself into the challenge.
"He'll probably be frustrated he hasn't opened his account sooner, but to see that one go in - and for it to be the winning goal - was brilliant for him and his family."