Peter Taylor praised Gillingham's display after seeing them win 2-1 at Sheffield United, only their second away win of the season.
Danny Kedwell opened the scoring when George Long's attempted cleared rebounded off him and into the net after the keeper was put under pressure by Harry Maguire's weak back pass in the seventh minute.
Chris Porter equalised with a header from Simon Lappin's corner in the 19th minute, but substitute Cody McDonald grabbed a 47th-minute winner after John Mousinho's header came back off the crossbar.
Taylor said: "It was a team effort. We did some good things, but at times we were asked to defend as well.
"I think the players worked extremely hard as a group and you can't ask for any more than that.
"There have been lots of times when I've been here that we haven't played anywhere near like we'd like to play, but the effort I've never questioned and again it was a team performance.
"We always thought that we could nick a goal. Kedwell got whacked when he scored and had to come off, which was unlucky for him.
"We've got to have the best spirit and the best work-rate to survive.
"We've got to keep at it, that's for certain."