First team boss Dean Holden admitted he got the right response from his players after three consecutive defeats and was delighted with the 1-0 victory over Crewe.
Conor Wilkinson smashed the only goal of the game after neat work on the edge of the box and Holden praised every single one of his players after they earned him his second victory in charge of the club.
He said: "We talked about the response after the last couple of games and past performances. We needed to bounce back and we needed to put pride back into the shirt.
"The fans turned up in their numbers and going home they will be very happy with the win and clean sheet. It's fantastic for Joel on his debut and I'm absolutely made up for him.
"But, it was about getting the pride back and everyone to a man gave absolutely everything and I'm very happy with that.
"Gerrard came in and it didn't look like he had ever been away from it. He was winning every single header and you could see him organising and doing everything I expected him to do.
"He tired a bit towards the end but that's because he has not played but I've said the same things to them all in the dressing room; it's all about recovery now.
"We need to make sure we are in good physical condition to go again against Rochdale on Tuesday. Joel was fantastic and Conor has come on and got the goal and he will get the glory and rightly so.
"The lads gave everything and ran every blade of grass and they are the performances you want to be associated with."
Holden's injury crisis worsened before the game: "Brian Wilson turned up ill this morning and Conor had been off ill for three days poorly," he explained.
"Conor turned up today and we managed to get them both on the bench and Conor has managed to come on and do the business.
"This win now gives a sense of hope for the rest of the season. What we now need to do, as I said after the couple of defeats we had, was to turn our attentions quickly to Rochdale.
"Us as staff will be doing that and preparing properly and the players will have to make sure they are ready as well because it will be a battle against them. Get a victory there and then it could be an exciting end to the season."
Over 700 supporters packed into the away section of Gresty Road and made it an intimating atmosphere all afternoon and the 35-year-old admitted they played their part in victory yesterday.
"I love when we all go over to the supporters at the end, similar to Port Vale, with the subs, support staff; everyone is together. It's a great feeling because it is testing times when results are going against you. It's an absolutely great feeling," he said.
"Everyone behind the scenes are working really hard but people judge you on that 3-5pm and rightly so but when you do get the rewards of three points and a clean sheet, it is great for the staff and players to share that with the fans."
Watch the full interview on Latics Player