West Ham ended a miserable sequence of three consecutive 4-0 defeats when they came from behind to defeat Blackburn 2-1 at Upton Park.
The pressure had been on manager Alan Curbishley following the recent run of form and it did not look promising for the former Charlton boss when Rovers took a first half lead through Roque Santa Cruz.
Hammers leading scorer Dean Ashton made it six in the Premiership this campaign with sidefoot finish past Brad Friedel.
It was left to substitute Freddie Sears to clinch the points for the home side with nine minutes remaining after Morten Gamst Pedersen had blazed over for Rovers from close range.
The 17 year olds initial shot was parried by Friedel but the debut boy gratefully headed home the rebound to clinch the points for the Hammers.
"It's a big result for us, with everything in the last week," said Curbishley, who had Anton Ferdinand playing despite a groin problem.
"Now we are not far behind Manchester City.
"With the three 4-0s, the pressure and the speculation, we needed to get a result. I wasn't oblivious to that.
"But there is a bigger picture in terms of where the team was a year ago. I said to the players that you have to take criticism, whether it's right or wrong.
"Some of it is right - but I called for the bigger picture."