David Moyes has ordered his Sunderland players to develop an ugly streak to dig the club out of Premier League relegation trouble once again.
The Black Cats scrapped their way to a creditable 0-0 home draw with high-flying Tottenham on Tuesday evening as they produced a concerted rearguard action to keep the visitors at bay after the break.
A little more than an hour later, the January transfer window closed with the striker Moyes desperately wanted to replace the injured Victor Anichebe having failed to materialise, leaving the Scot to make do with what he has.
He said: "What I now need to do is get a great team spirit here - we need to build on that. We need to have a toughness, we need to make as many tackles as we did tonight in the games and be rugged, and at times a bit ugly if we have to be.
"We did that a bit at times tonight, so we are going to have to make sure we maintain that, especially against the much better teams at home."
Moyes' squad was reinforced as the window drew to a close by the arrival of two more of his Everton old boys, Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson.
However, it was the return of central defender Lamine Kone and midfielder Didier Ndong from African Nations Cup duty which provided the biggest boost against Spurs.
The manager said: "They nearly looked a bit fresher. I think it's a bit like having a holiday or going away.
"I'm not saying they have been on holiday, but they have been away for a while and they have come back with a bit more freshness and not the same drain of all the games all the time.
"I hope that the two of them continue."
Sunderland's point lifted them off the foot of the table, but they are now five adrift of safety, while the draw helped Spurs to climb above derby rivals Arsenal into second on goal difference.
However, manager Mauricio Pochettino was unimpressed with the performance, particularly in the first half.
Pochettino said: "Manchester City was the same; Wycombe, with different players, we struggled too. In the same way, we started the game today.
"It's a thing to improve, to analyse for the future. It's clear something is wrong from the very beginning in the last few games."