Darren Ferguson felt Peterborough's 1-0 win over Fleetwood was his side's most important result so far this season.
Conor Washington capitalised on a defensive mix-up on the stroke of half-time to poke in his second goal of the season and end Posh's three-match winless run.
Peterborough held out for the win, which takes them back to second in League One, against 10 men after Fleetwood had left-back Stephen Crainey sent off for a second yellow card.
"I felt it was a pre-season game in the first half. I do not know if it was the heat catching them out," admitted Posh boss Ferguson.
"The players are quite disappointed by the performance but they won which is the main thing.
"We did not keep the ball well. We looked lethargic. But second half our front two caused them all sorts of problems and we did enough to win the game.
"I'm pleased with Conor's goal as he's only scored the one this season.
"The second half against Yeovil was the worst we've played all season, that's why I made five changes.
"But it was very boring at times, the game.
"The result's a very good one as it stops the mini-rot. It's probably our best one of the season so far.
"Credit to my players that they have got 19 points. I'm really pleased with that return."
Fleetwood, who have now failed to win in eight straight league and cup games, enjoyed the better of the opening half but failed to capitalise.
A mix-up between Gareth Evans and Steven Dobbie saw neither player finish in front of goal and Josh Morris had his back-post shot cleared off the line by Michael Smith after beating Ben Alnwick in the Posh goal.
But the hosts took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Alnwick's clearance bounced over the defence, allowing Washington to nip in and score.
After the break, Morris saw a free-kick tipped round the post by Alnwick, but Crainey's second booking for a foul on Marcus Maddison after 82 minutes ended Fleetwood's challenge.
"It was a pathetic goal and is down to us. We cannot look at that goal with any pride. It's route one and cannot happen," blasted Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander.
"That's not a game we should have lost. They have not threatened us in the first half. Even with 10 men we had opportunities to get back into the game.
"We are putting pressure on ourselves by not taking opportunities we create.
"We cannot look at that team and say many had a stinker. To turn this around, if it means taking someone out who is playing nicely but was not effective, that's what we will have to do."