Chris Wilder admitted Sheffield United were an "angry" team during their victory over Brentford, after their hunger and desire was questioned ahead of the game.
Leon Clarke's second goal of the season sealed a 3-2 victory for the visitors at Griffin Park, lifting them to fourth in the Championship table ahead of Saturday's meeting with second-placed Leeds.
The result, combined with a battling performance, proved the perfect response to last weekend's draw with Rotherham; a result Wilder later insisted his side had been fortunate to achieve.
But, speaking after the win in West London, the United manager said: "We were an angry team out there and that was good to see. A few home truths were spoken before the game but they've shown what they're all about, what they're really about, out there.
"We did what we had to do and we were prepared to do it against opponents who, no matter what their position might suggest, are a very good side.
"That, for me, was what I'd call a proper Sheffield United performance."
An Ezri Konsa own goal and Oliver Norwood's long-range strike saw Wilder's men regain the lead after Neal Maupay had fired Thomas Frank's team in front. Romaine Sawyers dragged the hosts level - although his effort was later credited as a John Fleck own goal - before substitute Clarke ensured United took maximum points.
After an injury sustained on the eve of the game had thrown his involvement into doubt, Clarke and his fellow centre-forward Conor Washington were praised by Wilder afterwards.
"People say this and that about Leon," he said. "Well, they can say what they want because that lad showed what he's made of by putting his hand up to play. A lot of players might have cried off and made sure they were right for the next one. But he insisted he wanted to travel and come down."
"Conor gave us something a little bit different out there," Wilder added. "He's waited patiently but we thought he was right for this game because of what he brings to the table. We picked a team to win the game. Round pegs in round holes."