Alex Morris dedicated Crewe Alexandra's opening day win at Rochdale to the supporters who have stuck by the club through tough times.
The Railwaymen were backed by 872 noisy travelling fans at Crown Oil Arena, and they were rewarded when goals from Dan Agyei and Lachlan Brook earned a 2-1 victory on the first day of the 2022-23 campaign.
The manager was delighted for everyone connected with the club, but especially the supporters who suffered through last season's relegation.
He said: "That was for everyone at the club, not least the supporters who were excellent. They travelled long and far last season and weren’t rewarded very often, so that was for them more than anyone else.
"This club needs to learn to win again and we have gone a long way towards that over the summer by developing the right culture and environment, and through the players we have brought in who have been used to winning at other clubs in this league.
"I didn’t emphasise it too much to the players before the game because I didn't want to add unhelpful pressure, but it was so important we won this game of football - just so we could have lift off and get back into the habit of knowing what it feels like to win."
Crewe sparkled in the first half and could have been more than two goals to the good at the break. After the restart, Rochdale pulled one back through Devante Rodney and applied pressure but the visitors held out for all three points.
Alex added: "The first half was excellent. The second half will look different in a few weeks if we are 2-0 up away from home, we’ll make sure of that because we became ragged and stopped doing the things that we’d asked them to. They’ll learn, but what they did do is dig in and throw bodies on the line to ensure we got the win."