Phil Parkinson is adamant he knows how to get Sunderland firing again after the Black Cats ended their winless run with a 2-1 victory at Doncaster.
Parkinson declared the performance as the best of his tenure as Sunderland earned a much-deserved triumph with goals from Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire, while Jon Taylor netted for the hosts.
The 52-year-old has come under fire in recent weeks, with supporters calling for his head as recently as Boxing Day, and he says he has been forced to develop a thick skin as he seeks to reignite Sunderland’s fortunes.
“I am so desperate to get it going here,” he said. “I am doing everything I can here, working tirelessly with my staff to get it going.
“You have to be thick-skinned at times, take the flak. I have got thick skin and I am confident I know what to do to get this team winning again.
“It’s the best we have played since I have been here and I am so pleased they got the rewards.”
Parkinson praised the 4,070-strong travelling support and felt they made a big difference.
He said: “The supporters were like a 12th man.
“When the games come thick and fast over this period, there’s tired legs, but when you have 4,000 fans like that it felt like a home game and it helps.
“It was a great moment when you win away from home, there was a terrific atmosphere, it just felt like our supporters made a difference. Darren [Moore] will say it felt like a home game for us, even with a few minutes remaining.”
Doncaster boss Moore felt small moments cost his side in a hard-fought battle.
“I thought the boys put a lot into what was a pulsating game with a great atmosphere,” Moore said.
“The smaller details probably lost us the game in the end.
“I thought it was a tightly-contested game. They got the two goals and held on for it in the end.
“It was the small details, the one-v-one battles all over the pitch. Both sides had chances and it was about the right connections on the ball.
“We’ve lost the game and we’ve got to look to the next one.”
Moore felt Sunderland’s Alim Ozturk should have been sent off for deliberate handball as his side looked to break.
“A turning point in the game was when the boy handled the ball,” he said.
“We felt it was a chance for us to go and saw and when you look at the incident I thought it was a major one because where the boy was and where our advancing players were, we had played beyond him and I think we’d have had a clear run at goal.
“I thought it was a red card. If that was a red card and they have 10 men, it’s a big pendulum swing in our favour.”