SYDNEY FC coach Ian Crook admits he questioned his approach heading into Saturday's 1-0 derby win over cross town rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.
The former England international endured sleepless nights over the opening fortnight of the A-League season as the Sky Blues sat anchored to the bottom of the table following consecutive losses.
Crook's relief was palpable after an Alessandro Del Piero penalty settled the first all-Sydney derby before a full house at Parramatta Stadium.
"Certainly for me I felt some relief," Crook said.
"You start to question yourself a little bit but for me it was all about the players tonight, they were brilliant.
"It was them who went out and did it. To a man they were great.
"The credit is all with them."
Del Piero was brought down in the box early in the second half and eased the ensuing penalty past Ante Covic.
But celebrations were stopped dead in their tracks after the referee ordered a re-take, ruling a Sydney FC player had entered the area before the spot kick.
Del Piero's second attempt was saved but he kept his composure to control the rebound and put the ball away for the only goal of the game.
Crook said with a grin: "You could re-take every penalty that's ever taken. There's always someone encroaching.
"It would have been nice if it had gone straight in – there was a bit of heart-in-mouth – but that's the way it goes.
"Even the best miss."
Socceroo Brett Emerton - who took the armband in place of benched skipper Terry McFlynn - hopes the win kick starts a run of success.
"It's been a slow start so to get all three points is a big step in the right direction," Emerton said.
"We have to back that up again next week. We need to look at what we did well and do it again and again and try to be more consistent.
"On our day we can beat anyone but we need do that week in, week out. To go out there and play the way we did (against the Wanderers), the boys showed a lot of character and heart.
"We got what we deserved in the end."