Southend manager Paul Sturrock was relieved to get back to winning ways following a 1-0 victory over Gillingham.
Mark Phillips' 87th-minute goal snatched the Shrimpers all three points after they had been reduced to 10 men when Bilel Mohsni was sent off for a second bookable offence.
"I'm exasperated after watching that but to win in those circumstances is very encouraging and pleasing," said Sturrock, who saw his side slump to a 2-0 defeat against Swindon on Saturday.
"The lads all rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in after Bilel was sent off, and it just shows you what's possible if you do that. It was completely different to the Swindon game on Saturday which was a disappointing performance by us, and this was the reaction we wanted."
Of the sending off, Sturrock added: "The red card was very harsh but Bilel doesn't help himself with his dramatics."
Makeshift striker Mohsni was sent off after being booked for a foul in the 54th minute and receiving a second yellow card for dissent 23 minutes later.
But Gillingham were unable to make their numerical supremacy count and paid the price in the 87th minute when Phillips headed home from close range from a Ryan Hall corner.
Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler urged his side to show more composure in the final third, with the Kent club having taken just a single point from their last four matches.
"We have limited them and had enough chances to score goals but a lack of quality and a lack of belief has cost us the game," the Gills boss said.
"It's people not performing - it's as simple as that - and if we do not start performing we are going to get stuck in a rut. It's going to change and change very quickly."
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