Nigel Adkins was relieved to finally see his Southampton side secure their first victory back in the top flight after a dominant second half showing against Aston Villa.
Saints came into the match rooted to the bottom of the standings after four successive defeats but secured three points on the South Coast as their 30-year-old talisman Rickie Lambert netted twice and set up another in a 4-1 win at St Mary's Stadium.
And Adkins felt his side were worthy winners on the day and was pleased with how his players applied themselves, especially in the second half.
He told Sky Sports: "A good three points for us. The crowd were superb but more importantly, the players were outstanding. They have been all week but they worked very hard and applied themselves right.
"There were a few debutants who I thought were outstanding but the collective team spirit that we've had with a winning mentality that we've had over the past few years here at Southampton.
"The Premier League is a massive challenge for everybody, but we all stick together and everyone works hard. Today, that was a well-deserved three points."
Adkins held special praise for debutant Gaston Ramirez, who produced a fine individual display in the middle of the park for the hosts.
He said: "Oh, what a silky player he is isn't he! He's decent and a quality, quality footballer. He only joined us last Friday night. He had one training session with the players and one second-half performance against Arsenal and he's trained throughout the course of the week.
"He was outstanding as was Maya Yoshida, who was also making his home debut."