Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez was delighted with his side's performance as they ended their poor run of form with a dramatic 2-1 win at Sunderland.
Franco Di Santo's late strike earned the Latics their first win since August's triumph against Queens Park Rangers.
"I think that was a great example of why we are so hooked on football," said Martinez. "It is such a contrast of emotions. Seven days ago we were on the floor, as bad as you can feel, and today we are really, really delighted.
"I know that we are good enough to get more points than last season. The truth is that in football you need momentum, you need to play with confidence and belief. If you keep playing well and losing games it is difficult to create that momentum.
"I just feel that in the last two weeks the team has played without that fear they have shown before. This group of players has matured so much in the last few weeks, we have characters who everyone should be very proud of."
The victory has edged Wigan to within two points of safety.