Paul Tisdale stood back and admired as his MK Dons side stamped their authority over Port Vale.
The Dons rediscovered their domineering edge as they put a winless September behind them and rose back into the top six thanks to strikes from Chuks Aneke and Kieran Agard at Vale Park.
The monkey well and truly off his team’s back, boss Tisdale experienced a cocktail of emotions post-match but was nonetheless full of praise for his troops.
“It’s a mixture of sentiment. I think we’ve deserved some wins over the last two or three games and haven’t got them – a bit of relief and I’m very pleased for the players and the way they played,” said Tisdale.
“It’s very easy to lose confidence but that confidence has been building over the last two or three games, missing chances and points that we should have readily taken.
“We got two but we could’ve scored three or four, so it’s about maintaining that level of play.
“I think the difference over the past month has been dominating possession at the right time.
“We took charge of the game whereas five or six weeks ago, we could’ve battled to keep the ball out of the net for an hour.”
Tisdale was also delighted to see a shuffling of the pack pay dividends, with striker Agard, who bagged his fourth goal of the season and second in the space of three games, one that stole a particularly large chunk of the limelight.
The Stadium MK chief added: “I put three [sets of] fresh legs into the side but I wanted others to stay on longer.
“I wanted Kieran to get another and Ryan [Watson] to score – I thought he deserved a goal.
“They ran themselves into the ground to try and get that win.”