Burton manager Nigel Clough was happy to end a brilliant 2016 with a first ever away win in the Championship.
The Brewers enjoyed a 2-1 success at Rotherham thanks to two goals in five first-half minutes from Chris O'Grady and Jackson Irvine.
Clough's men have gone close in their first 11 attempts this season, but finally did it in a game they were dominated in for 85 minutes.
"We didn't play anywhere near as well as we did at Aston Villa on Boxing Day but we battled away for three points," Clough said. "It was tough coming here, we knew that they would have their tails up.
"We knew they would come out and cause us problems and they did. The only disappointment was that we conceded just before half-time and that gave them a chance, they put us under a lot of pressure in the second half.
"The timing in the year we didn't want to go into the new year without an away win and it was good to get that monkey off our back. There's nothing like getting the three points to reinforce the message."
The win ensures Burton will enter 2017 out of the relegation zone and they moved 12 points ahead of Rotherham.
Clough added: "We should have got a few more points than we have but it is important psychologically to not be in the bottom three going into the new year."
While Burton have reason to be hopeful it is the opposite for Rotherham, who are 10 points adrift of safety and look condemned to the drop.
It would have been different at New York Stadium had they converted a host of chances, but they only had Tom Adeyemi's effort to show for their dominance.
Caretaker manager Paul Warne said: "I thought we played really well, I thought that we were the better team and with respect to Burton I thought they came for a point.
"But there are so many chances you get in a game and if you don't take them you are snookered.
"I love my lads but with the greatest of respect to them, they aren't used to playing against and having to break down two banks of four.
"Did they underachieve in the scoreline? Yes. But did they underachieve in the performance? No, I don't think they did.
"They are devastated, it will be tough to pick them up. But I don't believe we are relegated, I still think we have got a chance. If I didn't then I would tell the chairman to get a different caretaker in."