Anthony Stokes enjoyed an impressive debut as he inspired Sunderland to a home win against Ipswich Town.
The £2m striker, signed from Arsenal in midweek, took just 15 minutes to make an impact, racing to the byline and crossing for David Connolly to score.
Ipswich fought back and Richard Naylor headed a good chance wide before Sylvain Legwinski and Danny Haynes both forced Darren Ward to make smart saves.
Carlos Edwards and Connolly missed late chances to wrap it up for the hosts.
Sunderland boss Roy Keane on pursuing a play-off spot:
"We must keep going. There are 18 games and there will be lots of ups and downs for every team. We just have to keep up pressure on the others.
"The conditions were poor and perhaps Ipswich adapted to them better than us.
"I knew it was an important day with three lads making their home debut, but we've dug deep and got the result."
Ipswich manager Jim Magilton:
"I thought we should have had something. When you come here you know you'll get a pounding, but I thought we battered them second half.
"We started brightly, but they got the goal and it helped them to settle.
"We have come away with no points again after playing well but we need another striker to play alongside Alan Lee."
Sunderland: Ward, Whitehead, Evans, Nosworthy, Wallace (Collins 66), Edwards, Leadbitter, Yorke, Hysen (Murphy 64), Stokes (Elliott 88), Connolly.
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Clarke. Booked: Yorke.
Goals: Connolly 13.
Ipswich: Price, Wright, Naylor, De Vos, Harding, Roberts (Clarke 81), Williams, Legwinski, Garvan (Currie 71), Richards (Haynes 61), Lee.
Subs Not Used: Supple, Bruce.
Ref: L Mason (Lancashire).