Celtic assistant coach Johan Mjallby expressed relief after the win over St Mirren saw them open up a five-point lead at the top of the table.
"All credit to them, they made it hard for us. But the main thing is we didn't panic, which we've done sometimes in the past," he said.
Substitute Kris Commons scored the only goal of the game after 79 minutes as Celtic struggled.
"It was a good substitution and, with Kris's shooting ability, it paid off."
Beram Kayal was skippering the Celtic side in Scott Brown's absence, and the league leaders were far from convincing against a disciplined St Mirren side.
However, Mjallby said that the victory was more important than the performance at this stage of the season.
"We were very sluggish. But the main thing is getting the three points. And, on a positive note, this showed we can grind out a result as well," the Swede added.
"That's something, especially if you want to become champions, you need that.
"We're keeping up the winning run and are five points ahead right now. We know we can play better and we have to. We'll make sure we do that next time."
Mjallby said he did not consider Celticto be title favourites, especially since Rangers could narrow the gap to two points with a win over Hamilton Accies on Sunday.