John Coleman described Rochdale's first win of the season as a step in the right direction after their 2-0 victory over Barnet.
First-half goals from Ashley Grimes and Dele Adebola put Dale in the driving seat, but they failed to take full advantage of a Barnet side woefully short on confidence.
The hosts were in cruise control for much of the game, but could have paid the price for their lethargy as the visitors staged a late rally.
Had Jake Hyde's header bounced the right side of the upright, or Mark Byrne managed a decent connection when he met Curtis Weston's header, the outcome could have been different for the home side, as Coleman was only too aware.
"I thought we limped over the line," he said. "We went 2-0 up in the first half without really getting out of bed and it was a very disjointed performance. We were very stop-start with our passing. I would like us to play better than that and I think the players would like to be better than that.
"The one thing I cannot fault is the effort, the players put a lot of effort into it and obviously we're delighted to pick up the three points. But I expect us to play a lot better than that and we've probably played better so far this season without winning."