Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert backed Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill to get it right after inflicting a demoralising defeat on his side.
He said: "It's a tough, tough job, it really is a tough job. But if there's one person who will turn it around, it will be him. I have got the utmost respect for the Gaffer. I am not in a position to sit here and say I have got one over him or anything.
"It's a game of football I had to win and Aston Villa had to win, and we did it. It's a good three points.
"I thought we deserved it. I thought we were excellent today considering the knockbacks we took with the left-backs and Ashley [Westwood] making his debut. I thought we were excellent."
Christian Benteke in particular caught the eye with a powerful display which left Sunderland bruised and battered and his manager searching for superlatives.
Lambert said: "He could be anything he wants. He could be one hell of a player. I have always said he is playing in a Belgian national team at the minute that is top class, and he is in there on merit.
"He is playing extremely well and since he has come to this football club, he has been a revelation for us."
O'Neill was still able to take positives despite hearing his players booed from the pitch for the second time in five days, but admitted the responsibility for finding a solution lies with him.
He said: "It's me, I'm the manager, I'm the manager of the football club, absolutely. Yes, it's difficult, it's been a difficult week for us, obviously, losing against Middlesbrough and then not scoring here.
"It's been a difficult week, but we will come through. We threw just about everything at them to try to get on the scoresheet, but it eluded us today again. But it will turn."
The Black Cats thought they should have been awarded a second half penalty for handball against Benteke, but referee Mike Jones was not impressed, to O'Neill's obvious surprise.
He said: "All the players around said it was a penalty. The referee has chosen not to give it, that's his prerogative.
"Interestingly, we did have a meeting at the beginning of the season where referees came to speak to us to tell us that if you have your arms in the air, even it's to avoid something hitting your face, then there's the likelihood that they will be giving a penalty. It wasn't today."