Harry Redknapp took his place on the Tottenham bench as his Premier League side squeezed past Watford 1-0 to advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup on Friday.
Spurs midfielder Rafael van der Vaart scored the only goal at Vicarage Road as Redknapp was given a cause to smile after a demanding week which has seen him in the dock of a London court on trial for tax evasion.
Spurs, beaten 3-2 by Manchester City in their last Premier League outing, indicated they plan to make a serious bid for the FA Cup after naming a strong side for the fourth round tie.
But Redknapp admitted Spurs had been fortunate to progress after a lacklustre performance which saw his side outplayed for long periods.
"They say it's better to be lucky than good. And tonight we were lucky. We weren't good," Redknapp said.
"We didn't play well tonight, we were poor. Unbelievable. But credit to Watford though - they were fantastic, top class. We rode our luck but we got away with it."
Goal-scorer van der Vaart admited Tottenham had been fortunate to advance after an unconvincing display.
"We played a bad game today and Watford deserved more, maybe a win," van der Vaart said. "They were the better team. Sometimes you have these kind of days. The pitch was heavy and Watford played great."
Tottenham took the lead three minutes before half-time after a blunder by Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach.
Kyle Walker launched a counter-attack and fed van der Vaart, whose long-range effort bamboozled Loach, the Watford keeper misjudging the bounce horribly as the Dutchman's shot flew past him into the net.
The goal was hard on Watford, who had matched the Premier League pace-setters well throughout the opening period and will be ruing their failure to convert any one of half a dozen chances.
The Hornets also began the second half in positive fashion, hitting the woodwork when Sean Murray's curling effort was helped onto the post by Spurs keeper Carlo Cudicini.
Tottenham nearly doubled their lead midwway through the half, van der Vaart's effort hitting the crossbar after a swift counter-attack involving Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon.
Watford hit the woodwork again through a John Eustace header but Spurs held on to enter Sunday's fifth round draw.