Jose Baxter scored the only goal of a hard-fought contest as the South Yorkshire club stunned high-flying Swindon at Bramall Lane.
And afterwards Clough, whose side are now unbeaten in their last five outings, said: "I thought we deserved that. We got our reward for showing the qualities and characteristics that will be required to get ourselves out of trouble.
"And we had to do that too because they (Swindon) are a very good team, as the table shows.
"The challenge for us now is to keep doing that, keep trying to gather some momentum and also to try and improve.
"There are always things that you can do better but I was very pleased with the boys out there."
"Swindon score a lot of goals and so to restrict them to so few chances was very pleasing from our perspective," Clough added. "In fact, most of the ones they did enjoy were probably actually given up by ourselves. There were times when, arguably, we lost our concentration a little bit.
"But we regained that and went on to do well.
"It was important to win and especially important that we did that at home in front of our own supporters."
United claimed the winner just past the hour mark when Baxter pounced.
Aidy White delivered a deep cross into the Swindon box and when Ryan Flynn nodded it back into the danger zone, the Liverpudlian timed his jump perfectly to turn home.
Swindon manager Mark Cooper appeared to be infuriated by several of referee Scott Duncan's decision throughout the match.
But, despite seeing the visitors gather momentum as the final whistle beckoned, he could have few misgivings about the result.
"I feel a little frustrated but we can have no excuses," Cooper said. "I'm disappointed but have no problems about the result.
"We didn't play at the start of the second half and kept giving the ball away. When you keep conceding possession, it means you lose momentum and that is something we have to address because it is becoming a bit of a characteristic.
"We need to be a bit brighter in those situations. I don't know why it has happened but we will get to the bottom of it."
Cooper added: "We're not intimidated by coming to places like this. Far from it, as our results this season have proved.
"But what we do need to achieve is that right balance between attacking and defending, which we will. It's something we've spoken about in the dressing room but, make no mistake, Sheffield United are a better team than their position in the table suggests."
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