DELIGHTED Giants coach Jon Sharp believes yesterday's win over Widnes was the perfect response to those who have started to doubt his club's play-off credentials.
But the 26-20 Super League triumph was achieved at a cost, with stand-off Stanley Gene ruled out for four weeks with a badly dislocated ankle.
That took some of the gloss off a result which has helped the sixth-placed Giants open up a four-point gap on their main play-off chasing rivals.
It was only Huddersfield's second win in their last six top-flight outings, with Sharp confident it is a sign of better things to come.
"To win the way we did yesterday took an enormous effort," said Sharp.
"I believe we have come in for some harsh criticism over the last five weeks, some of which has not been justified.
"OK, we may have lost four of our last six games, but those have come at the hands of Wigan, Bradford, Hull and St Helens, and when the squad has been decimated by injuries.
"All four of these sides have the ability to put 50 points on each other, even when they are at full strength.
"To beat Widnes with the injuries we have and after playing Hull and St Helens in the past seven days is a great achievement.
"Yesterday's match really was a potential banana skin, but we had the character to get the job done."
Sharp admits, however, that the injury to Gene took a lot of the shine off the Giants' 10th victory of the campaign.
"Stanley's injury has come as a big blow to everyone," added Sharp.
"His right ankle is badly dislocated, rather than broken, but it still means he will be out for four weeks.
"Obviously, this is bitterly disappointing, although it's typical of the bad luck we're experiencing right now.
"It was great to have Brandon Costin back in the fold. His kicking made a huge difference.
"But as soon as he returns, we lose Stanley."