Port Vale boss John Askey felt his side were worthy 2-1 victors at Oldham but insisted they should have been more comfortable.
Askey was forced to watch through a nervy final few minutes at rain-soaked Boundary Park as Vale deservedly hung on to condemn struggling Oldham to another disappointing home reverse.
“Of course I’m really happy to get the result,” said Askey.
“We made hard work of it in the end, though. We should have been out of sight by half-time.
“We should have been three or maybe four up by that stage, but when you don’t punish teams and it’s still 2-1, then you’re worried a bit.
“We created some great chances and hit the crossbar but I suppose with the position we’ve been in, we have to be happy with the victory at the end of the day.
“It was a bit nervy towards the end when it shouldn’t have been, but I will never knock my players. They always give me everything out there.”
Askey also saluted Mitch Clark’s brilliant points-clinching second goal late in the first half.
“We’ve seen that before from Mitch,” said Askey. “We know it’s in there.
“It was a great finish and hopefully now that will give him more of the confidence he needs.”
The visitors dominated the first half at a rain-swept Boundary Park, Theo Robinson hitting the crossbar early on before Nathan Smith nodded home David Worrall’s corner after 12 minutes.
Clark curled in superbly shortly before the interval and though Zak Dearnley diverted home from close range to halve the deficit, it was not enough.
The hosts have secured just one point from their opening five home league fixtures.
Assistant head coach Alan Maybury, standing in again for the absent Harry Kewell, said: “We’ve done it again – we just have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.
“We’re giving teams a leg-up they need and it’s hurting us. We just didn’t play for 45 minutes and we were left chasing the game.
“We had our warnings early in the game but we’re not heeding them. Right now we’re too easy to play against.
“We’re making simple, basic mistakes and they’re costing us goals. We’re just not doing things well enough.
“The last week or so has been difficult with not having the manager here and one thing and another, but the right preparations had been done before today.
“The willingness to do well is definitely there from everyone but maybe we’re missing that know-how and that experience you need.
“There’s naivety out there too, and that doesn’t help.”