Preston manager Darren Ferguson got the response he wanted from his team after a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth lifted them off the foot of the npower Championship.
Summer signing Paul Hayes struck in the 18th minute with a clinical right-foot finish after a fine cross from Billy Jones. It was his third goal of the season and proved enough to secure the points for North End, who had lost their opening two matches of the campaign without finding the net.
Ferguson said: "A lot of people have been quick to write us off, especially after we lost the first two games. But it was only two games and there was no big panic here at the club. "
The former Peterborough boss added: "I know what I've got in this squad. There are some really good players, some really good energy. And when we play with that sort of tempo then we will be a hard team to beat.
"It was important to get a reaction after our 4-0 defeat at Swansea last weekend. And I think I got that from the lads.
"We kept a clean sheet - which is a big bonus - and we looked a threat going forward.
"The good thing for me now is that I have real problems selection-wise. And they are the sort of problems I need.''
Portsmouth remain without a league win since relegation from the Premier League and manager Steve Cotterill had no complaints about the result.
"We didn't really turn up in any part of the game,'' he said. "I thought that was probably our weakest 90 minutes. At least in the other games we had a bit of dominance for a while.
"It wasn't a game that we deserved to get anything from if I am honest."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.