Hull City manager Steve Bruce was happy to see his side keep up their assault on the top of the Championship with a hard-fought win at struggling MK Dons.
A goal in either half from Ahmed Elmohamady and Mohamed Diame was enough for the Tigers to keep hold of second place, while they gained ground on table-topping Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Seagulls retained their unbeaten record at the start of the season but dropped points at Reading thanks to a late equaliser from on-loan Watford forward Matej Vydra.
Hull take the spoils despite below-par performance
Despite the difference in league positions between Hull and Dons, Bruce admitted to the Hull Daily Mail that "it was never easy" and that his side "didn't play that well".
Despite this, he was pleased to see "a certain resilience and a doggedness" to see the game out and claim what could turn out to be a vital three points with fellow promotion candidates picking up victories of their own.
Popular Egyptian winger Elmohamady looked certain to double Hull's lead just before half-time after taking the ball around home goalkeeper David Martin but he fluffed his lines and lofted the ball over the crossbar, prompting Bruce to wryly don it his "Ronny Rosenthal moment".
Captain Dawson leads the way
The Tigers currently have the best defensive record in the top four divisions of English football with just eight league goals conceded, and Bruce was keen to praise his skipper, centre-half Michael Dawson.
Bruce asserted that his central defensive pairing had been "terrific, especially the captain", who gave "a hell of a performance".
The former Manchester United man went on to note that Dawson's form had been consistently excellent all season, and suggested that his continuing form and fitness could prove crucial in the race for Premier League promotion.