Neale Cooper admitted his relief after seeing Hartlepool earn their first win of the season - seeing off Scunthorpe 2-0 at Victoria Park.
The visitors are still seeking their first point after four losses and were disappointing in defeat, even before being reduced to 10 men.
Midfielder Josh Walker was red-carded for a deliberate handball on the line in the 77th minute, but the Iron escaped when goalkeeper Sam Slocombe saved Steve Howard's penalty.
Any lift they may have got from the save soon disappeared, however, when Luke James rifled in his first goal of the season.
Cooper said: "It was a bit of a mixed day. We won and that was all we concerned ourselves with. At 1-0 you are hanging on a bit and we didn't start the second half well.
"We missed a bit of sharpness after no game last week. We need better at times, but we will take a win - we've played a lot better and lost games.
"The first win gives us confidence. After missing a penalty you wonder what will happen, but we got a second. I was frustrated with the performance because we gave the ball away needlessly at times, but overall it's pleasing to win.
Scunthorpe boss Alan Knill cut a downbeat figure after the game with the Iron rooted to the foot of the League One table.
"A really disappointing performance," said Knill. "I thought this was a game we would win, but we didn't come out of the traps and do the things we worked on.
"That's a worry, we were still missing those vital bits. Until we get that right, it's hard to win matches."