Sunderland boss Roy Keane hailed Dwight Yorke as a "different class" after he inspired a 2-0 victory over Coca-Cola Championship strugglers Coventry.
Yorke, 35, opened the scoring with a 19th-minute header before fellow Trinidad & Tobago international Carlos Edwards sealed victory with a fine 25-yard strike in the closing stages.
Keane has deployed his former Manchester United colleague in the centre of midfield and although age is catching up with him, Yorke's astute footballing brain now compensates for what his legs can no longer achieve.
"I thought Yorkie was different class, and he has been for the last few games now," said Keane, who several weeks ago told Yorke to up his performance levels.
"His experience is vital for us and he's had the added bonus of notching a few goals in the last few games.
"I'm delighted with Yorkie I have to say and I'm delighted with the win.
"Three points, clean sheet and we move on."
Keane handed a debut to striker Stern John following his arrival from the Sky Blues for an undisclosed fee.
John's arrival has ensured a trio of Soca Warriors stars at the Stadium of Light but the Black Cats' latest addition saw little sight of goal.
"I thought he did very well," insisted Keane. "We had to chop and change after getting injuries on Thursday and Friday, but I think the Sunderland jersey suited him." Edwards was rather more impressive and he capped a hard-working performance on the right flank with a deserved goal which flew into the net from 25 yards.
"That's his job," said a deadpan Keane.
"His work-rate is never in question, and we saw that when he was at Luton.
"He's just the type of player we need and I thought he worked his socks off."
Coventry created plenty of opportunities but, as befits a struggling side, they are not taking them and are being punished for it.
Caretaker Sky Blues boss Adrian Heath could not fault his players' performance, despite the result denting his hopes of landing the post on a permanent basis.
Heath said: "I thought it was a terrific performance and other than the most important thing - scoring goals - we more then held our own today.
"We had the best chances today and the most clear-cut chances, so I'm obviously disappointed with that.
"But I can't praise the players enough. I think their effort, determination and attitude to get a result was absolutely first class.
"I was proud of them. The second goal came at a time when we were trying to force the issue, but I can still take a lot of positives from the performance.
"It look like Kevin Kyle may have broken a bone in his arm or hand. He's gone for X-rays."
Heath was given five games to mastermind an upturn in fortunes for the struggling Sky Blues following Micky Adams' recent sacking.
This was his second defeat in three games, and he added: "I can't ask anymore of the players' efforts, and if I don't get the job then I can't say they haven't done enough for me.
"We know we're in a results-orientated industry and if people in charge don't think there's been enough improvement then we all know what happens."