Alvaro Morata claims Carlo Ancelotti's orders to defend in numbers proved key to Real Madrid's 2-0 win against Malaga on Saturday.
Los Blancos produced a dominant attacking display in which opposition goalkeeper Willy Caballero was forced into action at regular intervals.
However, Morata quickly credited victory to his team's dogged defending in restricting the visitors before seizing possession and launching their own forays forward.
"The goal after the break did justice to our great first half and we have to keep going along the same lines," the striker told reporters after the match.
"The coach had asked us to defend with 11 players and it is clear that we did. The higher we press means that we will have more chances to rob the ball. We're doing it better every match.
"We worked hard, played well and achieved an important thing, which was to take the three points."
The 20-year-old was again selected to start at the expense of Karim Benzema, and he admitted to loving every opportunity that came his way.
"You have to make good use of every minute you get here, press hard and give your best. You never know when it might be the last match," Morata underlined.
"It is a very important week if we work as a team and we are united. I am sure that we will get two wins."
Fellow Spain Under-21 international Daniel Carvajal insisted competition for places was key to their title hopes this season.
"There were four European Under-21s champions in the starting XI today, but it is just a good anecdote and every one of us gives our best for the team," the defender said.
"The team was great and everyone contributed. I'm getting a better understanding with [Angel] Di Maria in every match. Competition is good for everyone."
Madrid's latest victory lifts them to third in La Liga, only three points behind leaders Barcelona who drew 0-0 at Osasuna.