Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf hailed his team for a strong showing in Wednesday's 3-0 Uefa Cup win over 10-man Ajax.
Olaf Lindenbergh's early dismissal gave Werder a numerical advantage and opened the gates for a one-sided match, where second-half goals from Per Mertesacker, Naldo and the outstanding Torsten Frings handed the Bundesliga club a deserved victory.
"We did exactly what we had planned to do as it was our aim to keep them busy in defence," declared Schaaf.
"The sending-off certainly played in our hands, but we stuck to our game-plan and proved that we are once again in fine form."
Central defender Mertesacker, who opened the scoring for the hosts, believes that the 3-0 win will silence talk of a crisis which arose after Werder lost their Bundesliga lead following two straight defeats against Schalke and Stuttgart.
"We gave the right answer to all open questions," explained the German international.
"The game came at the best possible time for us and we can be very satisfied with our performance."