Truro City manager Steve Massey said he was pleased with his side's ability to grind out a "scrappy" 1-0 win over Redditch at Treyew Road.
Striker Liam Eddy grabbed the winner on his return to the side to end a run of three straight defeats.
"I wouldn't say it was our best display - we've certainly played far better and more attractive football and got nothing," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.
"But I'd much rather have a scrappy performance and get the three points."
Massey added: "There's no getting away from the fact that these are decent players but this league is ruthless.
"You don't get three points by being decent players or passing the ball nicely - you have to earn the right and battle, fight hard and graft.
"That's what I'm looking for more of and they showed me they've got that.
"We talked about taking responsibility before kick-off - my ethos is to get into the players how good they are and to believe in themselves.
"We told them we wanted to see the sleeves rolled up and to see some grit and we got a great response."
Eddy had sat out several games, but Massey said his performance against Redditch had fully justified the recall.
"We brought him in after he'd had a bit of a rest which we thought he needed," he said.
"His spark had perhaps gone a bit, but here we played two up top with Ben Watson and they worked extremely hard, and Liam was rewarded with the winning goal."