Zinedine Zidane praised his Real Madrid players for overcoming a gruelling test against Granada and winning 2-0 to stay on the heels of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.
Real survived a couple of early scares in the first half and although Casemiro headed them in front in the second period, they were made to sweat on to their slim lead until Karim Benzema clinched victory in added time.
"It was a really hard fought game. We said before that it was going to be very uncomfortable for us and it was," Zidane said.
"They came to press us very high up the pitch and they did it very well and the first half was very tough. But we were better in the second and we deserved the victory."
Zidane paid tribute to his players on winning six games in a row in all competitions after a poor run of results in November, adding they had learnt to cope with difficult spells in each of the matches during their winning run.
"The players know we will have difficult moments in every game but we are always well prepared," he said.
"We are very happy to have won six games and I'm very pleased for the players because they have shrugged off the critics and now they can be proud of what they have done. I want to congratulate all my players."