Brian McDermott was pleased with Reading's 2-1 victory at Watford after substitute Adam Le Fondre scored within three minutes of coming on to fire the Royals back into the Championship play-offs.
The Hornets had gone in front when Shaun Cummings failed to deal with Troy Deeney's cross and turned it into his own net.
But the visiting side levelled before the break when Jimmy Kebe headed in from close range.
Neither side looked likely to get a winner before Le Fondre netted a typical predator's finish from Ian Harte's corner to lift the visitors back into the top five.
And McDermott said: "We had a tough start to the season and there were many reasons for that but that's gone now, so we can only concentrate on what we've got to do now.
"We had a difficult FA Cup game and we didn't get through and we didn't play as well as we know we can, so today the fans will be delighted with that. It's a big three points, it's never easy to come here and win and that's been proven with their record at this ground, so we have to be pleased with that."
Asked if it was an inspired substitution, McDermott replied: "He can score, that's the thing with Adam Le Fondre and looking back at the goal it was a fantastic, instinctive finish and to put it in the top corner the way he did was top drawer.
"He's come off the bench today off the back of Churchy (Simon Church) coming off. Churchy has run his socks off and did a really good job for the team and Adam came on and scored the winner, so that's what having a good group of people and players around you is about."
Watford suffered their first home defeat in the league since October and boss Sean Dyche said: "I didn't think our performance level was good enough for us this evening.
"We've performed very well of late but there were too many individual performances that weren't quite right. You can carry maybe one or two but if it goes to three and four then that affects the team and all of a sudden the team looked a bit disjointed.
"The second half was a bit more even, the first half they were the better side I felt, so eventually you get caught out if your performance levels are not high enough, albeit from a couple of soft goals, particularly the second one."
Asked if there were any reasons why the performance level had dropped, Dyche responded: "The lads have been actually terrific this week in training and we mentioned before the game about playing tonight how we've trained. I think the level the lads set themselves for training is excellent in general, this week they were particularly sharp, so we came into it really confident.
"That's sometimes the 'scratch your head' moment when you look at the players and think 'well, what did change in the performance this evening?' But it's a really valuable learning curve the players are on and some of the players are learning from the ups and downs of it. We're on a nice run in general, particularly at home, so we're not too despondent but with the performance we're feeling a bit disappointed."