Notts County manager Martin Allen praised Lee Hughes after the veteran striker grabbed a brilliant winning goal to secure a 1-0 victory at Walsall.
Hughes, who has endured some off-field problems this week, latched on to a through header from Ben Burgess in the third minute and swivelled to bury a low shot past Walsall goalkeeper James Walker.
Allen, whose team picked up their first league win in nine attempts, said: "It was a clinical finish by Lee to win us the game and I am delighted for the player."
He added: "It was a fantastic goal, and he has had a tough time recently. So for him to get that goal was fantastic."
On the team's recent disappointing record, Allen said: "There has been a lot of negative talk among everybody, and I'm sure the supporters have some valid points. I accept that.
"There has been frustration and disappointment after our good start to the season, and we have had a tricky spell with some tough away games. But we are not rubbish and we are not doing so bad.
"We played very well in the first half and, after Lee's goal, the players battled to keep a clean sheet, put their bodies on the line, and there are a few cuts, bruises and knocks."
Struggling Walsall, facing another desperate relegation battle, have won only once in their last 15 league games, but manager Dean Smith is convinced he can save them from the drop.
He said: "The first half was nowhere near what we expect, and I don't know where that came from because our recent form has been decent.
"In the second half I thought we were a totally different team and should have got something out of the game."