MK Dons have come through the most important moment of their promotion campaign, says boss Karl Robinson.
The Dons held on to win 1-0 at Colchester on Tuesday - their first victory in four games - to move up to second in League One.
Robinson told BBC Three Counties Radio: "It was massive. I can't understate it.
"This was big. I want people to believe. I said towards the end, this is the biggest 10 minutes I'll have to manage this season."
He added: "We had to hang on. I had to play it down, but I said to the players they had to play with no fear - show an aggression and a determination."
MK's promotion aspirations had been seriously tested over the past two weeks, with a draw at home to leaders Bristol City followed by away defeats by Bradford City and Gillingham.
It was the first time Robinson's men had suffered successive losses this term, but the win at Colchester puts them two points above third-placed Swindon, who have a game in hand.
"Every one of my players and staff deserve a pat on the back," said the MK manager.
"Yes we get criticism. It's never smooth. But if you have aspirations of being a manager you have to take that."