Manager Sabri Lamouchi expressed relief and pride in equal measure as Nottingham Forest returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at Hull.
Forest had not won in five previous Sky Bet Championship games, but they produced an impressively mature performance in East Yorkshire to reignite their play-off aspirations.
Lamouchi said: “It’s nice to see the team and the players play this way against probably the best wingers in the league in (Kamil) Grosicki and (Jarrod) Bowen.
“It is not easy to come here and win this way, so congratulations to the players. We started the game in a good way. We worked very hard and were very compact.
“I think we deserved to win. Three points and a clean sheet – this is very important. It was not our best performance away but we were very solid.
“The back-four was very, very compact and it was great. To wait six games is a long time for a victory.”
Forest are now just one place off the top six and were grateful to striker Lewis Grabban, who scored both goals.
Grabban first netted from the penalty spot after 11 minutes when Jackson Irvine clumsily upended Samba Sow.
Hull supporters might have expected a forceful response – they had won their last three home games – but it never happened.
Instead, Forest ended up winning by a handsome margin when Grabban scored after 82 minutes following a vigorous counter-attack that was initiated by Tiago Silva.
Lamouchi said: “Lewis was our leader on the pitch. He’s a fantastic player, but we always need to help him. We know exactly what he can do. He’s doing a great job.
“Sometimes he finishes a game without having any chances, but it’s not easy and we need to help him. We now need to come back and hopefully get three points against Wigan on Sunday.
“The attitude from the team, playing away, is different. At home, I don’t think it’s pressure, but we are more open and miss a lot (of chances).
“I hope we learn from our mistakes and can build on this great result.”
Hull head coach Grant McCann accepted his side had been outplayed.
He said: “We were disappointing. There are no excuses – we probably got what we deserved.
“The game was quite stop-start, and that affected how we wanted to play. We kept giving the ball away too easily and we just didn’t get going.
“We tried. We huffed and puffed a little bit, but it didn’t seem to happen. Everyone was off.
“I don’t think there was much in the game. If anything, Forest were better at keeping the ball and that was probably the difference – we just couldn’t find that last pass.
“We’ve got to find the answers because the games come quick at this time of year. We’ve got to go there (QPR on Sunday) and get a response.
“I think this league is very difficult. Over the last 12 games we’ve won six of them, which isn’t too bad. We need to make sure we respond from this.
“The group have done really well – they are working very hard – I’m really, really pleased with them.
“We’ve lost the game, lost three points, but we’ve got plenty of time to make it up.”