Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson believes grinding out results may be equally important to their top-four aspirations as sweeping aside teams in a flurry of goals.
Hull showed that in their 2-0 defeat at Anfield, where Liverpool had previously scored 23 in their last six appearances.
Having played well at City and Chelsea but returned pointless the win was vital and Henderson believes getting those results when their game is not at the highest level could be pivotal in the quest for a top-four place.
"It was important to get the year off to a good start. The most important thing was getting the three points and we got that," he said.
"On performance level, I thought we matched them (City and Chelsea) if not were better than them in the two games but you have got to get results and we weren't able to do that.
"It was important to get back to winning ways. Maybe we didn't play as well as we have done in certain games when we have won by four or five but we showed we can grind a result out when we're not at our best.
"Our aim is to make Anfield a fortress - to make it really difficult for teams when they come here.
"We've been doing that and hopefully we can keep doing that and pick up points away from home too.
"I definitely believe we can stay in that top four.
"We want to keep it going against Oldham (in the FA Cup) and then Stoke."
Three points from a possible nine in the Christmas fixtures represents a disappointing return, especially considering their displays at the Etihad and Stamford Bridge.
Beating Hull was the very minimum expected and allowed the Reds to return to the top four.
Henderson feels they more than deserve to be there and with a bit more luck could have had a much better return of points.
"It was very important that we beat Hull after suffering the two defeats," he added.
"I think we can't be too disheartened with the performances away to Man City and Chelsea.
"I felt we played well and definitely deserved something out of both games.
"We didn't get the bit of luck that we deserved but we had to forget about all that, put it right against Hull, get three points and try to kick on for the rest of the season."
Henderson has played every league match this season - and lasted the full 90 minutes in their last six games - and is a prime candidate to be rested for Sunday's FA Cup visit of League One Oldham.
"We have a good staff here who help us to recover well: plenty of massages and ice baths," Henderson said when asked about the physical demands he has to cope with.
"They help ensure that when the next game comes along you are ready and feel 100 per cent."