Chelsea boss Avram Grant paid tribute to John Terry after his captain defied a facial injury to help the Blues to a vital Champions League win in Valencia.
Terry (right) and Steve Sidwell celebrate Chelsea's impressive win
Terry fractured his cheekbone against Fulham at the weekend but wore a protective mask as Chelsea shrugged off their poor form to earn a 2-1 victory.
"John's very special," said Grant. "You can't have a better example than him."
Terry added: "We had to pick ourselves up and we hope this is the kick-start we need after a few iffy performances."
The Blues had not won in four matches in the Premier League and, having drawn their opening Champions League match at home to Rosenborg in September, were desperate for a result at the Mestalla Stadium.
"We haven't been performing as we'd have liked, but we had a great team spirit tonight," said Terry.
"Maybe we had lost it a bit but it's been difficult. We had many great performances against Valencia and needed a collective performance."
It has been reported that Chelsea are on the look-out for a coach to assist Grant at Stamford Bridge, with Ajax chief and former Barcelona coach Henk ten Cate linked with a move to the club.
But Israeli Grant preferred instead to talk about the contribution of striker Didier Drogba, who showed little sign of his recent knee injury when he strode onto Joe Cole's pass to fire the winner.
"Didier is a good striker but I don't think that is news. I was happy with his attitude and his willingness to give everything for Chelsea football club," said Grant.
A lot has happened over the last month and we needed a win
"You have seen the attitude from all the players in the last two weeks - it has been difficult, but it was good."
And Cole added that he hoped the win would represent a change in fortunes for the Londoners.
"A lot has happened over the last month and we needed a win," said the midfielder.
"It was a fantastic defensive display, two goals and a great win, a great confidence booster."