Brentford boss Dean Smith said he “never had a doubt” that his squad’s hard work and quality would lift them up the Sky Bet Championship.
The Bees made it nine games unbeaten with a third successive win - 3-1 over Leeds - after a disappointing start to the season that saw them languishing near the drop zone.
Smith said: “I have always had great belief in what we do even when some people were looking at me like I was mad when our performances weren’t getting the results we deserved.
“Once again against Leeds we have worked hard and shown the quality in the squad, so now it’s just a case of seeing where that takes us. For me the performances were the main thing.”
Smith, whose side were good value for their 3-1 win over under pressure Thomas Christiansen’s Leeds, said: “it’s been a good week after the wins at Preston and Birmingham.”
Villa fan Smith revealed Villa’s European Cup-winning striker Gary Shaw waited for him in the tunnel after the St Andrew’s win to congratulate him on the 2-0 success.
But he said: ‘That win would have meant nothing if we didn’t follow it up against Leeds and apart from a 25-minute spell when they put us under pressure, we deserved the win.
“Leeds didn’t look like a side lacking in confidence at all. It was a very hard fought win. We have shown again, after physical battles with Millwall, Preston and Birmingham, that we can compete physically.”
He added: “We had a day’s less recovery than Leeds but I felt we finished the game stronger than them.”
Under-fire Christiansen said: “This was a must win but we didn’t, but we had a very good second half and I believe we deserved more.
“The pressure will grow and grow if we don’t win but there is only one way to come out of it and that’s to stick together.”
He added: “We were late in several situations and Brentford are a good team that plays fast, but we need to learn from that.
“We made two changes at half-time and I will take with me the positive that we raised our game, equalised and could have got the win.”
Three goalkeeping blunders from both keepers littered the game, with Leeds’ Andy Lonergan at fault for two of the Bees goals.
Christiansen said: “They approached our goal four times and scored three goals.
“Mistakes we can all commit but today they cost us the game. When people make individual mistakes there is no system that can support that.
“It’s disappointing when you think you deserve more, but there is only one thing to do and that is to continue working hard.
“If we don’t have faith and don’t believe we may as well throw everything away and go home. But we are fighters and we will fight back again.”