Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson was full of praise for his patched-up side after they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at Swindon.
Goals from Charlie Wyke and Chris Maguire saw the Black Cats ease to victory at the County Ground.
Parkinson said: “It was a great win for us. We had to make a few changes today so I could have easily been standing here making excuses.
“I thought the lads stuck to their task brilliantly today.
“I thought in the first half we controlled it, we were very good in possession, got the goal and in the second half there was always going to be a lift in energy from them but we withstood it well and got the second goal.
“Everything we want from the lads – the football was good and the work ethic was outstanding. I thought we handled it really well.”
The match consisted of few chances for either side, apart from the two goals, but Sunderland were ruthless in taking the limited opportunities that came their way.
Wyke made it 1-0 to the Black Cats in the 37th minute after finding space among the Swindon backline and converting a simple chance from close range to give the visitors the lead.
Maguire doubled the advantage for Phil Parkinson’s side in the 57th minute via a penalty that he won himself.
He surged through on goal before turning inside Jonathan Grounds who fouled him in the box.
Maguire dusted himself down and calmly sent the penalty down the middle, beating Matej Kovar who dived to his right in vain.
Grounds almost made amends for giving away the penalty, but his header from Jack Payne’s free-kick drifted just wide of the post.
Josh Scowen could have made it 3-0 but his shot was saved by Kovar.
Swindon first-team coach Tommy Wright said: “I think Sunderland looked stronger, more organised and more streetwise than us.
“We gave a very, very bad goal away – a simple cross and a striker is free to knock it in so we’re disappointed with that.
“I thought the second half we were better – we gave a poor penalty away but we kept going. We’ve got a lot of young players in the team and they need a bit of help, the senior players need to step up in that situation.
“We’re disappointed with the result but there are a lot of positives. They’re a very, very good team.”