Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder felt his side’s 2-1 victory at QPR was the perfect response to their doubters.
They came from behind at Loftus Road, where David McGoldrick’s 65th-minute penalty gave them the points.
Billy Sharp had equalised shortly before half-time to cancel out Ebere Eze’s opener.
United lost the opening two matches of their Sky Bet Championship season, with their performances in defeats against Middlesbrough and Swansea attracting some criticism.
“We’re really struggling with that character stuff, aren’t we?” Wilder said sarcastically after the Blades’ win.
“Over the last two years we’ve not shown any bottle or character or spirit, no desire and we’re all over the place. People are having a fight in the changing room every day.”
He added: “People will make assumptions, but I don’t sign players who don’t want to run about for this football club.
“I said to the players ‘the only way you’re going to show people if they’re questioning you is when you step out onto the pitch’.
“Noise and nonsense or whatever it is, we have to keep our cool and go through these periods - it happens to us all. The expectation levels have gone through the roof over the past two years.
“We’ve done some things over the two years we like to think have been quite good.
“When you fall a little bit, which we have done in certain periods of the two games, you have to take it on the chin what people say.
“It wasn’t the most free-flowing performance. But it was a Sheffield United type of performance, with guts, determination, desire and a little bit of football played in there.”
QPR manager Steve McClaren felt two questionable refereeing decisions had cost his team.
Sharp appeared to be offside when tapping home after being set up by Kieron Freeman.
And Rangers were incensed by the decision to award the penalty after Jake Bidwell was adjudged to have pushed McGoldrick, who had just come on as a substitute.
“We’ve lost the game because of two poor decisions,” said McClaren, who has lost both his matches as Rangers boss.
“The first goal was offside because Sharp was in front of our defenders when the ball was crossed.
“I can’t understand the penalty. We feel McGoldrick is handling Joel Lynch and Bidwell is behind, just ducking to get out of the way. There’s no contact.
“It’s cost us the game. There’s no doubt about that. In terms of the performance I was delighted.
“I asked the players to go out and be brave and I felt they did that.”
A definite positive for Rangers was the performance of teenage forward Eze, who scored with a thumping strike just before the half-hour mark following a counter-attack led by Luke Freeman.
Eze went close on a number of other occasions and was a constant threat to the visiting defence.
“We’ve got that special player in Eze who can create something out of nothing,” McClaren said.
“He’s got self-belief now and you can see that when he plays. This boy will get better and better.
“I came in here and I knew it was a young squad. The message is to be patient. That includes myself, because I’ve got no patience.
“The players will grow and develop in terms of how we want to play. This team will get better. The results will come.”