Simon Grayson claims Preston are capable of going the distance in the promotion race this season after beating Bristol City 1-0.
With Sean O'Driscoll sacked as City's head coach in midweek, caretaker-boss John Pemberton saw his side fall behind to Jack King's header in the 33rd minute.
It was King's first of the season and was enough to separate the two sides, while Paul Gallagher and Bristol City's Karleigh Osborne were both sent off in stoppage time for scuffling.
And while his side endured a nervy finish to the match after failing to find a second goal, Grayson believes they are capable of challenging for a Championship place.
"We said to the players before the game and at half-time, do whatever it takes to win a game," said Grayson.
"We've played far better and not got results.
"It was the type of performance where we got the goal, we had to hang on at times, we had to defend.
"The quality wasn't there that we'd have liked in terms of the second half.
"There's a belief amongst the group that they can be successful this season.
"We had a tough game on Tuesday night and that was probably the reason why we lost our legs a little bit and quality at the back end of the game, but there is certainly a desire to make sure that we do as well as we can.
"Any win creates a fantastic buzz in the dressing room. There's a togetherness and a spirit about the players where they drag each other along when we're under pressure."