David Flitcroft was delighted that Barnsley erased memories of an early-season thrashing with their 2-1 win over Brighton.
The Tykes suffered a 5-1 defeat at Brighton in August, but goals from Jason Scotland and Chris Dagnall helped them avenge that result and boost their survival hopes.
Leonardo Ulloa had levelled for the visitors, but he then missed a late penalty and Flitcroft felt his side deserved a reward for shackling Albion's potent attack.
"I am very proud, we have set a team up to battle and they have done that in the first half," he said.
"I have got massive respect for Brighton on terms of the football they play. I am a massive Brighton fan in terms of that.
"We got schooled down there earlier in the season and that was one of the worst trips I have had.
"But I am delighted because the game plan we set out has worked.
"We didn't let them play with any freedom or fluidity and I don't think any of their players would have enjoyed playing here."
This first win in four Championship games lifted Barnsley out of the drop zone and moved them past the 40-point mark and Flitcroft has challenged his side to continue their charge to safety.
"The main target I set when I came in was to get to 40 points as fast as possible," he said.
"I don't think anyone other manager coming in could have got there as fast, I strongly believe that.
"Now we have got to that and we are going to set another target and kick on again. We have got to win games."
The hosts took the lead in the 50th minute when Febian Brandy was tripped by Danny Holmes and Will Grigg notched his 18th of the season with a low drive from the subsequent penalty.
Seven minutes later a fantastic 30-yard shot from Craig Westcarr increased the Saddlers' lead and Tranmere rarely looked capable of saving a point.
Rovers had started brightly with Mamady Sidibie twice testing home 'keeper Aaron McCarey with low drives.
But Walsall's Jamie Paterson had a shot cleared off the line by Ash Taylor in the fifth minute and skipper Andy Butler headed straight into the hands of Rovers' keeper Owain Fon Williams when he should.
Both sides put the emphasis on attacking football and Paterson saw his 28th-minute volley well saved by Fon Williams before Saddlers midfielder Sam Mantom hit a post from 25 yards soon after.