Inverness Caledonian Thistle John Hughes admitted Sunday's 1-0 win over St Mirren had been one of the Highlanders' hardest fought victories this season.
Billy McKay's late goal settled the match at the Caledonian Stadium and took Inverness level on points with fourth-place Dundee United.
Hughes said: "It was always going to be difficult in terms of our mindset, in terms of getting the boys' mental attitude right - especially coming off the back of the effort that we put into the derby match.
"We had to be patient. I always felt we were the better team.
"The boys showed a character, a willingness and a spirit to go and dig it out and I'm absolutely delighted to pick up the three points.
"When you've got a sniffer in front of goal like Billy McKay, you've always got a chance of winning the match. Great goal. He got to the front post with a back-flick through his standing leg and I was glad to see it hit the back of the net."
St Mirren caretaker manager Gary Teale lamented "a hard-luck story for us again" as his side remain second-bottom of the Scottish Premiership, now level on points with basement side Ross County.
"We're just not carrying that bit of luck," Teale said. "We just need to keep doing the same things. We've got a belief that it will change. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, it will turn.
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We really need to stay together, make sure everybody is believing and being positive.
"One unfortunate slip has cost us the game."
Meanwhile, Teale expects Kenny McLean to stay at the club after English League One Fleetwood Town made a £150,000 offer for the midfielder.
"I don't think it's anywhere near the value that I hold Kenny in," added Teale.
"I think Kenny could go down to the Championship [in England] and certainly acquit himself.
"It's probably time for him that he maybe moves on, hopefully for my sake not until the summer. He's doing everything that can be asked of him
"Hopefully he keeps working hard and something will happen for him."