"I thought overall it was the best 90 minutes we have played in the season, without doubt," he says.
"We played well for 45 minutes against Arsenal at home, obviously, but over the full game that was the best performance."
But he admits he is at a loss to explain why it hadn't been emulated earlier in the campaign.
"Who knows - the preparation was good and the players put it in their minds that 'this is it now, we really need to turn the corner,' and nothing less than that will do now," he says.
"We all know what they can produce and we have to see that from now until the end of the season."
He was delighted with the strike partnership of Les Ferdinand and Jermain Defoe, and adds: "I thought it went very well. Les and Jermain combined nicely, but there were a lot of good players on the day."
And he feels that having good players alongside him on the bench now makes for a reaction from the players on the park to start with.
"It makes a hell of a difference; there is nothing like competition for making players play well.
"The lads know there are players on the bench that can come in and take their positions if they don't perform and that is starting to appear now as well."
Youngsters Daryl McMahon and Anton Ferdinand are included in the travelling party which does not, of course, include the suspended Lee Bowyer and Fredi Kanoute.
Squad: James, Van der Gouw, Bywater, Johnson, Repka, Pearce, Dailly, Brevett, McMahon, Moncur, Delaney, Cole, Carrick, Breen, Cisse, Hutchison, Sinclair, Lomas, L Ferdinand, A Ferdinand.