Luka Modric and Gareth Bale agreed that we had to show real character to overcome Everton on Sunday.
We deservedly led 2-0 at the break after a fine first half display only for Everton to typically hit back in the second half, reduce the deficit to 2-1 and pile on the pressure in search of an equaliser with Landon Donovan missing a golden chance in the 77th minute.
The second half shouldn't overshadow our performance in the first half though when Roman Pavlyuchenko opened the scoring and Luka produced a wonderful goal to hand us that vital two-goal cushion.
The win against the Premier League's in-form team took us back into fourth on Sunday night.
"Everton are a very strong team but we showed big character in the second half," said Luka. "They pressed us but we won and this win will give us confidence for the next games."
Gareth, outstanding again at left-back, added: "We all knew it was a massive game and Everton came here in good form.
"We also knew that Manchester City had a great result at Chelsea on Saturday and it was important for us to get the win.
"It was tough in the second half but we stuck in there, showed our character and got the win we needed."
Luka's goal was the highlight of the afternoon as he combined with Croatian international team-mates Vedran Corluka and Niko Kranjcar to open Everton up before clipping a shot over Tim Howard and home off the underside of the crossbar.
"We know each other well from the national team and I'm very happy with the goal but the most important thing was that we won the game," smiled Luka, named Man of the Match. "It's a massive win for us."