Sunderland boss Roy Keane insisted his side had moved just a small step closer to their target after finally ending their 28-year wait for a home win over derby rivals Newcastle.
In a game marred by crowd trouble on the final whistle, fans on the pitch after Kieran Richardson's winning goal and controversial Magpies midfielder Joey Barton being targeted by missiles as he warmed up on the sidelines, the Black Cats got the better of their arch-rivals for the first time at the Stadium of Light, and for the first time at home since April 1980.
Asked if it was important to have come out on top of their local rivals, he said: "If it means we are making progress, then yes, of course.
"But we have to remember how many years Newcastle and Middlesbrough have been ahead of this football club.
"The bottom line is, people might not remember, but we got three points today. Hopefully, that will get us up the table and try to get into the group that's ahead of us because we stayed up last year and the next part of my plan was to try to get into the group ahead of us."
There had been controversy earlier when missiles were thrown at Barton, who responded by kissing his badge, much to the further annoyance of his tormentors.
Opposite number Joe Kinnear did not see the Barton incident, which saw him sent back to the dug-out by police, or the trouble at the end of the game, but he had sympathy for his player.
Told what had happened, he said: "It's a bit unfair, then, isn't it? It's not Joey Barton's fault, is it?
On the game, which left his club without a league win in seven attempts, Kinnear said: "I am disappointed, obviously, because of the immense disappointment for the supporters and everyone else.
"But looking at the bigger picture, we were beaten, and we have to play West Brom on Tuesday night and get maximum points."