The former Reading boss must have feared the worst when Jermaine Johnson fired Wednesday into a 27th-minute lead but two second-half goals in six minutes by Luke Varney gave Leeds the Yorkshire bragging rights.
McDermott said: "I was really pleased.
"It was hard in the first half and we knew we shouldn't have gone in a goal down but there was a good response after the interval, which was really important.
"We needed to pass the ball and create things and I thought the players were really brave in the second half.
"I told them at half-time that the crowd really wanted to get behind them.
"I've been at places where that hasn't been the case, but when we got to 1-1 it made a real difference.
"They were two very well-worked goals. The first was just over the line so I'm glad the referee and linesman spotted it and the second was a fantastic bit of skill from Ross McCormack and a really good header by Luke Varney."
McDermott added: "Wednesday have been on a good run. You have to give them credit for that, so it was a really big win for us."
- Sports & Recreation
- Luke Varney
- Jermaine Johnson