Walter Smith described Scotland's 2-0 victory over Moldova as another small step towards restoring his country's standing in world football.
"There was a little bit of pressure on us at the end because of tiredness, but I thought we deserved to win," the Scotland manager told BBC Sport.
"When the second goal went in, it was a bit of a relief.
"But we are doing our best to restore pride and confidence. They may be small steps, but we are taking those steps."
Scotland's opening goal came from substitute Christian Dailly, who has yet to play a full game for West Ham United since returning from long-term injury at the end of the season.
The defender, brought on to replace Jackie McNamara at wing-back, said: "It has been a tough year, but I was just so pleased to be back in the team, to be honest.
"This season, I have only really played one reserve team game, but I'm delighted I have managed to get myself back and fit in time.
"I feel good. I worked really hard and I'm so proud to be representing my country again."
Scotland needed the win or their World Cup qualification hopes would have all but ended.
"We have got ourselves a bit of a lifeline," said Dailly.
"It will be a really hard game on Wednesday, but we can take confidence from this win.
"The boys did really well today. There was a lot of pressure in that game.
"You have to win it. It is not always easy when teams are sitting in, but we eventually broke them down."
Dailly praised Lee McCulloch for the cross that led to the opening goal.
"Lee McCulloch did some fantastic work to get round two of their boys there," said the West Ham man.
"He worked hard all day and he probably deserved a goal, but I have taken it off him."