Steve Evans was pleased to see Rotherham return to winning ways against Crewe but admitted the Millers were not at their best.
Alex led twice at the New York Stadium but in the end lost 4-2 in a thrilling second half that saw them miss a penalty and the chance to regain the lead.
Bradden Inman gave Crewe the lead after 12 minutes after AJ Leitch-Smith had seen a shoot hit the post.
The Millers equalised through Kieran Agard just before the half-hour mark but Crewe's advantage was restored in the 61st minute when Kelvin Mellor spun in the area and fired home.
Rotherham levelled again in the 68th minute with a Lee Frecklington penalty before Harry Davis saw his penalty saved by Adam Collin.
The hosts roared up to the other end and Ben Pringle's superb cross was headed in by Alex Revell to give the home side the lead for the first time.
Chuks Aneke went close to an equaliser with a diving header that flew just wide.
But Rotherham made sure of the win in the dying seconds when Frecklington pounced to shoot home his second as Crewe pushed forward.
Evans said: "It was satisfying after two defeats. We were not at our best for spells but generally I felt we controlled it over the 90 minutes.
"The quality of the goals was special. I was really proud of the players and if we go behind I'm not worried because they always respond in the right way.
"Yes one or two were a notch down but we had players who stepped up and it shows the character we have in this squad. I'm proud to work with them.
"It was a good win for us and the Millers fans were brilliant and they created an atmosphere, so thanks to everyone who turned up and got behind the team.
"I think we were a notch down in the first half but I think people can see we're not idiots. I think its a good win against a good team who had won their last two games."