Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder kept things in perspective after overcoming Plymouth in the FA Cup to secure a third win in four matches.
Rock bottom of the Premier League after a historically bad start to the campaign, the Blades have belatedly shown flickers of life in the opening weeks of 2021.
They picked up just their third win of the season on Saturday, with Chris Basham and Billy Sharp scoring either side of half-time in a 2-1 triumph against League One opposition in the FA Cup fourth round.
While the result marked a third victory in four, Wilder kept those successes in context, having also beaten Bristol Rovers, another third-tier team, and Newcastle before losing their previous match at home to Tottenham.
“Job done,” he said after setting up a home fifth-round clash against Bristol City.
“You look at an attitude and professionalism, apart from five minutes when we gifted them the opportunity to put a bit of pressure on us, which they took (when Panutche Camara scored for Plymouth in the 75th minute).
“It was generally a decent performance. We should have stretched the lead from one to two a little bit earlier than we did.
“But job done, through to next round and we crack on into obviously what is going to be a tough week for the players and the football club.”
Asked if things felt like they were moving in the right direction ahead of facing Manchester United and Manchester City, Wilder said: “I think you’ve got to put it into perspective.
“Two of the teams that we beat are out of League One, so we got the job done and we needed those wins and we needed a big week last week.
“And generally, apart from the scoreline against Tottenham, we got it in the win (against Newcastle) and the performance in patches against Tottenham, and the Bristol Rovers performance and result.
“But you have to put it into perspective and look at our next two performances, but there’s no downside to winning games of football and playing well.
“I thought for long periods we played well, dominated the ball, moved the ball around the pitch, created chances, just didn’t really put them to bed in the last bit which possibly we should have done.”
Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe was proud of his players’ efforts against top-flight opposition at a bitterly cold Bramall Lane.
“Certainly we take a lot of pride,” the Argyle manager said.
“They are a good team. They press very well, they keep the ball in the right areas. Their movement is something we will look at to advance for us in our league the way they do it.
“Great experience and to push them all the way there (was great).
“I’m disappointed we didn’t score in the first half, but in terms of Sheffield United they’re a fantastic outfit, fantastic manager and coaching staff.
“I think we’ve done ourselves proud and Plymouth Argyle today.”