Aitor Karanka described Middlesbrough's performance against Swansea City as their worst of the season despite coasting to a 3-0 victory at the Riverside Stadium.
Boro opened up a four-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone with Marten de Roon adding to Alvaro Negredo's first-half double.
It was their biggest victory of the season and followed back-to-back defeats against Southampton and Liverpool, but Boro boss Karanka was not impressed by his side's display.
"It's been our biggest victory, but it was our worst performance," the Spaniard said in a post-match TV interview.
"It was massive to get the win. These wins against direct opponents are always really important.
"Everybody in this group is really confident. We've picked up experience after every game. The main thing is to create chances. We created a few and scored three goals."
Swansea boss Bob Bradley, whose side are 19th, was frustrated they could not capitalise on what he felt was a solid start, suggesting it was a defeat of their own making.
"Same story - we've had a number of games where I think we've started in a positive way, don't always create enough but you feel like it's coming and then we concede," Bradley told Sky Sports.
"When we concede we lose a little something. You can't go away from home in the Premier League and dig a hole for yourselves.
"We're disappointed right now. We came in with a good idea. We turn our attention to the home matches over the Christmas period."