André Villas-Boas declared himself "extremely happy" after recording his first victory as Tottenham manager over a lacklustre Reading side.
Having begun his reign at White Hart Lane with a defeat and two draws, Villas-Boas admitted that he and his squad had begun to feel anxious – but that such worry had been "kicked out" following this deserved 3-1 win that takes Spurs to 10th in the Premier League.
"I am extremely happy, also because the players put tremendous commitment into the game and took responsibility and showed concentration," said the Portuguese after seeing Jermain Defoe score twice either side of a goal from Gareth Bale. "They understood that we have been working so hard and they deserved to get this first win.
"The way they came into the game with that focus and wanting to put things into place is very, very pleasing to see. Hopefully this can be the build-up for the future. It takes out the anxiety of winning for the first time. The team in the end performed so well they kicked out the anxiety. They played so confidently and concentrated so well that they were able to express their balance and have fun in the game, which is the most important thing."
Villas-Boas came into this match with rumours circulating that the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, had given the 34-year-old three games to save his job after a less than satisfying start to his time at the club, with the former Chelsea manager's position put under even more scrutiny after his predecessor at White Hart Lane, Harry Redknapp, appeared to deride his modern style of management in a weekend interview, claiming that "these days you are getting [from managers] 70-page dossiers on this and that. Bullshit can baffle brains at times."
Villa-Boas said "he didn't feel any pressure" from Levy and, asked to respond to Redknapp's criticism, intentionally shifted the focus to another Portuguese manager who has worked in London, saying: "It is not about the manager, it is about the players. It is the players that take us to success and different managers have different leadership styles and the ways they go about their business. I am not sure if Harry was mentioning that about José Mourinho but, if he is, I find it strange."
The Spurs manager was understandably more keen to focus on his side's display here and, in particular, the contribution of Defoe who, having appeared close to leaving the club in the summer, has now scored three goals in four Premier League appearances, as well as another two for England.
"I am extremely happy for him," said Villas-Boas. "He is such a prolific striker for club and country. He is amazing at sniffing goalscoring opportunities. Not only that, he makes the most of the small opportunities he has and makes a lot of opportunities for himself.
"I know there were questions being raised about him being played up front on his own, and it being difficult for him. But on his own or with Ade [Emmanuel Adebayor] by his side I think Jermain can continue to produce attacking opportunities."
Defoe backed his manager, saying: "New managers come into football clubs and sometimes it takes time. People just think instantly they're going to be unbelievable but sometimes it takes time.
"I'm sure today the fans are happy and everyone that's been doubting us, they can hopefully look at us and see that we can do well this season. Our season will start now."
There were also fine displays from three of Spurs's summer signings; Jan Vertonghen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and, making his first start for the side, Moussa Dembele. Another new addition, Clint Dempsey, came on as a second-half substitute.
For Reading, there was only frustration and regrets following what was an insipid first-half display that only marginally improved after the interval, leading to a late consolation goal from substitute Hal Robson-Kanu.
The hosts did have a strong penalty claim early on when Kyle Walker appeared to handle Danny Guthrie's free-kick. In the end, however, Brian McDermott, the Reading manager, had no complaints about the result, one that means his side has still to record a Premier League win this season. "We were too submissive," he said. "That's not how we play or what we are about, so we have to move on very quickly, you have to do that in this league. It's a learning curve for all of us. We know we are playing against a team full of world-class individuals and we didn't cause them enough problems."