Andy Butler insists his Doncaster players gave him all that he asked for as they ensured a positive start to his tenure as manager with a 2-1 win over Portsmouth.
Butler stepped away from his playing role and took charge of Rovers on Monday morning following the departure of Darren Moore to Sheffield Wednesday.
And he was delighted with the fully committed performance from his players as they ended a run of five League One games without victory thanks to goals from Reece James and Fejiri Okenabirhie.
“I went in the dressing room before the match and said to the players I want a performance full of desire, commitment, hard work and when you have the ball, express yourselves,” he said.
“To a player, I thought they were excellent. The players that started were excellent and the ones that came on made an impact.
“It’s been a positive result so far. We don’t get too high on this result, we keep ticking them off and move on to the next game.
“I’ve said to the players that it’s a squad game and if you perform them you’ll get the shirt. Everyone is going to be needed.”
Butler’s first big decision as Rovers boss was to hand a league debut to academy graduate goalkeeper Louis Jones in place of Brentford loanee Ellery Balcombe and he was pleased with the youngster’s performance.
“It was my first game in charge and you live and die by your decisions,” Butler said.
“I made the decision and I thought Louis was excellent tonight. I’ve got two good keepers and I want them to be pushing each other. Louis has to be on his toes, otherwise Ellery will come back in.”
Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett bemoaned fine margins as his side fell to a third defeat in five matches.
John Marquis pulled a goal back for Pompey in added time while a last-gasp tackle from James denied Harvey White an equaliser with the last kick of the game.
“The way we finished was a positive because I think we went down fighting,” Jackett side.
“John Marquis got a good goal and I thought we were going to get the equaliser right at the death, because it was a fantastic tackle on the line that has secured them the points.
“It’s still there. We have been up and down and we are looking to find winning consistency but so are a lot of other sides.
“There’s fine margins. A deflection off Harvey White when the keeper is wrong-footed and it’s just gone the wrong side of the post – we just need one of those moments and that can lift the players at the right time.
“We have to keep going, be honest about what we need and come back fighting on Saturday.”