Roy Hodgson hailed the contribution of West Brom skipper Chris Brunt after his two penalties earned victory over former club Liverpool.
Hodgson was sacked by the Reds in January but came out on the top 2-1 in the first battle with his successor, Kenny Dalglish, at The Hawthorns on Saturday. That was due in no small part to Brunt as the Baggies climbed to 12th spot in the Barclays Premier League.
Hodgson said: "Chris played a true captain's role and furthermore he did it on the back of two full appearances for his country in Euro 2012 qualifiers - one in Serbia, and one at home against Slovenia. Those were big and important games and then he has come out and played like he did against Liverpool."
He added: "That is three massive games in a week and, in the third one, he has come up trumps by scoring the two goals and also giving a very good performance.
"He was totally drained of energy at the end and maybe that is how things should be.
"If we want to stay in the league, we are going to need lots of players who are drained of energy at the end of the 90 minutes."
The Baggies are still unbeaten under Hodgson and have collected nine points from five games.
Hodgson said: "I thought if you had been a Martian landing at the game, you wouldn't have been able to tell which team was sixth and which team was almost bottom.
"We've got to take confidence from the fact if we are good enough to take points from successive matches with Arsenal and Liverpool, then hopefully we can take points from other teams as well."