Jack Grealish admits it was important for Aston Villa to see off 10-man Brighton as they prepare to take on the Premier League's top two sides in their next fixtures.
Villa sealed a dramatic 2-1 victory as Grealish teed up Matt Targett to fire home a last-gasp winner.
It had looked set to be a frustrating afternoon for Villa after captain Grealish had equalised in first-half stoppage time, Aaron Mooy having already been sent off for the Seagulls following Adam Webster's maiden goal for Graham Potter's side.
But they kept pushing to secure a second straight win on the back of an impressive 5-1 thrashing of Norwich before the international break.
While victories are key at any stage of the season, the fact Villa come up against Manchester City and Liverpool in their next two league outings – sandwiching a Carabao Cup tie with rivals Wolves – means it was important to get points on the board.
"Our next three games are very tough so it was important we got a win," Grealish told avfc.co.uk.
"Back-to-back wins is always important in any league, so to do that in the Premier League hopefully has put us up the table a little bit but two tough games coming up now against Manchester City and Liverpool so we will see how they go.
"It is a great result for us. Truthfully I don't think that as a team we were at our best today but you're going to have games like this during the season when you have to grind out results and that is what we did."
Brighton thought they had hung on to take a well-earned point having played for over an hour with 10 men.
The visitors even created chances to win the game themselves but the manner in which they slumped to the ground after Targett's strike showed just how much of a sucker punch it was.
"The boys put in such a great shift and we're all working together. We're proud of the performance, but the result is disappointing and it's a tough one to take," Webster said.
"It's all about being clinical in both boxes, which is a huge part of the game. If we get chances, then we've got to take them. At the other end, we've got to keep them out.
"It's completely gutting to concede so late. We played with 10 for the majority of the game and we dug in at times and still played very well, but to concede so late on is heartbreaking."