Alan Knill believes Torquay provided the perfect response to their critics after winning 3-1 at fellow strugglers Bury.
Two goals from Paul McCallum and another from Aaron Downes helped the Gulls end a six-game winless run and climb above their opponents in the table.
Knill said: "It was an outstanding away performance and a thoroughly deserved win.
"We set up really well, worked hard on set plays and were good value for the win.
"When we needed to defend, we really did. We put bodies in the way and did everything we could to stop them from scoring.
"I know we can score and we look a threat going forward.
"We keep saying we're close but it's all about results, isn't it? This is how you answer any critics, by coming away from home and winning 3-1.
"We've signed young players and we want them to run up and down the pitch. That's what they're giving us.
"For whatever reason we've not had a squad but now we think we're getting a squad. This is how you go about business when you've got a squad you know can compete.
"It wasn't an easy game for us so we came in as underdogs but we upset everybody."