Gus Poyet was happy to put a lacklustre performance to one side after seeing Sunderland limp past non-league Kidderminster and into the FA Cup fifth round.
The Uruguayan made 10 changes to the team which booked a Capital One Cup final ticket at Manchester United in midweek – and saw his understudies turn in a less than inspired performance to emerge with a victory at the Stadium of Light.
"It was not a classic. I was worried about the start, and the best part was the first 20 minutes,'' said Poyet. "Then it was difficult. The connection, the ability, the understanding wasn't there, so we need to accept it as it comes.
Victory was secured by Charis Mavrias' fifth-minute strike, although Harriers striker Michael Gash might have levelled within five minutes and Danny Jackman and substitute Freddie Ladapo both went close to an equaliser in the dying minutes.
It extended Sunderland's recent run to just one defeat in 12 games and ended non-league involvement in the competition.
However, Poyet, who described the game after the opening 20 minutes as "boring, very boring'', immediately turned his attention to Wednesday's Premier League fixture against Stoke and the pressing business of securing top-flight survival.
"Wednesday, that is the key now, that's the most important thing, three points on Wednesday somehow. I would like to say playing well, but somehow.''
Opposite number Andy Thorn was delighted with the way his players approached their task, and admitted they were disappointed to be heading home without a replay.
"We knew it would be really tough coming here, but to be disappointed we are not coming away with a draw, it just speaks volumes for the performance the players put in,'' said Thorn.