Real Sociedad coach David Moyes praised his side's determined defending after their 1-0 victory over Barcelona on Sunday.
Moyes has had little to cheer about over the last year but was all smiles after his side held on to beat Barca after taking the lead in the second minute through an own-goal by Jordi Alba.
The Scotsman lasted less than a season at the helm of Manchester United before being sacked last April and took on a tough task when he agreed to take over a Sociedad side fighting relegation in November.
There were plenty of doubts in the local media over his lack of experience of Spanish football, and his inability to speak the language, but he has made a solid start, building from the back and they have lost only one game so far.
"I am very happy to get the result, it was a very important and it was a very hard game," Moyes told a news conference.
"We worked hard defensively and defending is a big part of football. You don’t win games if you don't defend well. The way that we played at the back gave us the chance to win this game.
"I always hope that we have the ball in all our matches but against Barcelona you know that this is difficult.
"This is something that we can improve on but I would like to emphasize the spirit of the team and the way we worked hard together."
Sociedad's task was arguably made easier with both Lionel Messi and Neymar left on the bench in the first half having only returned last Friday from their Christmas break and Moyes said he was not surprised by Barca coach Luis Enrique's team selection.
"I wouldn't say that it was more straightforward as Barcelona have a strong squad with great players," he said. "They have top players though and they can’t always be at their best in all games.
"The most important games for Barcelona will come later in the season and I think Luis Enrique made a sensible decision. I thought something like this would happen and we were prepared for it."
Image: Head coach David Moyes of Real Sociedad shakes hands with Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona at the end of the La Liga match at Estadio Anoeta.
Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images