The 29-year-old forward fired two late second-half strikes to beat Dundee 2-1 on their own patch, and keep the Steelmen ahead of a resurgent Hibs.
Despite not being the Fir Park team's most polished performance, the Well No.9, who is now the SPL's top goalscorer on five goals, bailed out his side with his own striking masterclass.
"Higgy is a great finisher," said Hateley, who fired in the corner for the striker's second.
"He does it in training and you have seen some of the goals he has scored in the last couple of seasons as well.
"If you put it in the right area for him more often than not he'll hit the back of the net. Thankfully he's managed to do that this season.
If we're not technically as good as we could be, then sometimes you have got to play the conditions. If you work hard and have the guys upfront like Higgy who can get you the goals, then that's the most important thing.
"Thankfully he got two goals and over the line."
Motherwell were punished for their slow start after ex-Hibee Colin Nish, who is on loan from Hartlepool, headed home a John Baird cross after just 20 minutes.
It wasn't until McCall introduced tricky forward Henrik Ojamaa after the interval that Motherwell kicked into gear, with the Estonian providing a fine cross for Higgy's first on 74 minutes before he added his second 10 minutes later.
The win has Well on 11 points ahead of a crucial couple of weeks for Stuart McCall's men.
First up is an away trip to Aberdeen this Sunday before what is surely to be a captivating meeting with Rangers in the Scottish Communities League Cup. That's followed up by Celtic coming to town the following weekend.
Despite their lofty position in the SPL standings, Hateley is remaining level-headed about his side's chances of holding on to their crown as kings of the hill.
"We are just looking forward," admitted the 23-year-old. "It's way too early to be thinking about that kind of stuff. If we keep progressing as we are, I'll take playing rubbish and winning.
"There's no point thinking 'we're sitting top of the league', we just need to focus on the next game."