Conor Coady admitted to mixed feelings after Wolves hung on to beat Preston 3-2 at Molineux on Saturday, but believes that the three points earned against another of the league's form teams were 'huge'.
Wolves looked to be easing to victory after Ivan Cavaleiro's first-half strike and Leo Bonatini's second-half double gave them a commanding 3-0 lead, but the visitors - who had suffered just a single league defeat prior to Saturday - made for a nervy finish after hitting back through Jordan Hugill and a Coady own goal.
The defender conceded that there was disappointment at the way that Wolves had allowed their opponents back into the game, but that didn't take away from the sense of accomplishment as Nuno Espirito Santo's side consolidated their place at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.
"It was huge," Coady said after the contest. "We knew how tough it was going to be - in some respects it was tougher than last week (when Wolves recorded a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa). We knew what they were going to do - they came and pressed us and hunted in packs, and they did it really well and made it tough for us.
"Even so though, we should be shutting up shop when we're 3-0 up. We gave them the chance to get back into it. We should never have conceded those goals - we pride ourselves on clean sheets and we didn't manage to get one.
"But, it's another win on the board and another step in the right direction. It's three points from a tough game against a team that acquitted themselves really well. Because of the way we play, teams are going to go after a few of the boys and try to get them riled up, but I thought we dealt with it really well.
"I'm gutted we conceded the two goals but to stand up and come away with the win is huge."
Wolves now take a break from league action to focus on the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, with tomorrow's tie at Manchester City pitting the leaders of England's top two tiers against each other.
While not underestimating the size of the task which will be provided by Pep Guardiola's rampant City side at the Etihad Stadium, Coady believes the test will give Wolves the chance to impose their style on a high-quality opposition.
He continued: "It's going to be a fantastic night. City are on fire at the moment - they're demolishing teams, but we've got nothing to lose. Every single one of the boys is really excited about it and whoever plays on the night is going to be up for it.
"We're taking thousands upon thousands of fans - as we do everywhere - and we'll go there with no fear; we'll go to enjoy ourselves, acquit ourselves well and keep on playing how we've been playing.
"We want to go there and impose ourselves and our way of playing on them. We all know our jobs and what we've got to do."