Swansea City head coach Francesco Guidolin believes the 1-0 win against Aston Villa was their “most important” of the season.
Despite an unimpressive display, the Swans’ third victory in four matches took them 11 points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
Guidolin missed the last three games with a chest infection and was pleased to make a winning return.
“It has been a long time and it is my first home win,” he said.
“I was happy to be back. Maybe this is the most important victory of the season so I am very happy.”
A listless Swansea performance saw Villa dominate the first half at the Liberty Stadium, though the visitors failed to really trouble Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
There was a marginal improvement from the hosts after the break as Federico Fernandez bundled in the game’s only goal, though Guidolin knows his side have much work to do before their Premier League survival is assured.
“The result and victory was all important. I know the performance was not very good but this is the match I was waiting for,” he said.
“I know the situation and I saw my players nerves come across in their performance. I thought that would be the case for this game – they [Villa] could play with freedom and we did not.
“But in the future for the club, the fans and everyone involved we need to make sure we are not in this situation again. It has been an up and down season, it is nearly finished but not quite.”
Victory against Villa means Swansea are 11 points clear of the relegation zone, though that could change on Sunday when 18th-placed Sunderland take on local rivals Newcastle, who are one place below them in the table.
“Norwich won so we are not safe. It is not certain but what I liked here was the attitude they showed,” Guidolin added.
“We had the attitude of a cup final, and they are never pretty games but the result is what matters.
“We need to play with this character but with more freedom. I want to see this. If we can play this way we have the chance to have good results and finish the season well.”