Carl Veart was delighted to come away with the three points, but admitted Adelaide United was not at its fluent best in its 2-0 win over Perth Glory.
Bernardo had given the hosts the lead after finishing off some persistent wing play from Ryan Kitto in the first-half at Coopers Stadium.
But the match always hanged in the balance against the competition’s cellar dwellers with United unable to find a crucial second goal until Nestory Irankunda’s stunner at the death.
He unleashed a phenomenal strike into the top left corner after George Blackwood’s orchestrated the move following his neat control and through ball on 94 minutes.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Veart felt the extended break between matches was a double edged sword.
The boss said while the players got to recuperate following a hectic schedule, they also naturally lost a touch of sharpness.
“Having that long break between the games was good to freshen the player up,” he told reporters.
“But with that we just didn’t have our normal sharpness tonight, we were a little bit flat.
“I suppose that comes with having that bigger break, so it wasn’t our normal, fluent game tonight.
“But the boys defended very well and kept a clean sheet and got the win.”
Veart also commented on Irankunda’s mixed performance off the bench after scoring the sealer in the 94th minute.
The 16-year-old has now netted three goals for the Reds, all arriving at crucial stages of matches.
He scored an equalising free-kick in the dramatic 2-1 victory over Newcastle Jets, a last-gasp winner against Central Coast Mariners and now the sealer against Perth.
“Everything Nestor did before that goal was probably wrong,” Veart admitted.
“But that’s the beauty of him. What he did with the goal, that’s a very rare commodity to be able to have what he has.
“It’s just a matter of remembering that he’s still only 16 and we just have to let him go out and have fun.”
Adelaide’s third straight triumph has taken them back into fourth place on 37 points and remain on track to guaranteeing a top-six berth.
However, Veart intimated the plan is to finish as high as possible on the table, while also insisting on the need to find form ahead of finals.
Adelaide has two home matches left in the regular season, beginning with Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.
“It is important for us to make finals because we’re a very proud Club that want to play finals football,” he said.
“Once you get to finals you know the best team on the day. And on our day, we’re more than capable of beating anyone.
“So, our goal is to go into finals, but we want to go into finals with good form.
“That means with the next two home games, we need to put in a lot better performance than what we did tonight.
“Then hopefully we make it into the finals and go a long way into it.”