Contented Villas-Boas finally feels some warmth
At the Madejski Stadium
The recognition came 72 minutes into Andre Villas-Boas's fourth Premier League game in charge of Tottenham, moments after Gareth Bale's scuffed shot secured his first victory.
Spurs led 2-0 at Reading and the travelling contingent of supporters felt confident enough in that margin and their manager to demand a wave from Villas-Boas.
He stepped forward to issue instructions, the trademark squat on his haunches now seemingly abandoned in favour of a straight-backed stance, and briefly raised an arm towards one corner of the Madejski Stadium as he returned to the dug-out.
Hardly lift-off in his relationship with those who view him with scepticism after succeeding Harry Redknapp.
Villas-Boas sealed his first league win as Tottenham manager
Hardly a fall into the warm embrace of his new followers - but recognition all the same, and no doubt welcomed by a manager under a unique form of pressure.
Villas-Boas arrived at Reading to a backdrop of speculation that his position was already under scrutiny and the next three games could shape his destiny. It was the sort of territory he seems to have staked out almost permanently since he arrived at Chelsea at the start of last season.
He insisted he was in a state of blissful ignorance of such matters because he does not read newspapers. And he was certainly satisfied enough after an emphatic Spurs display that produced enough evidence to suggest players are buying the ideas Villas-Boas has been selling them.
Nor did Villas-Boas waste any time on a perceived jibe from his predecessor Redknapp who had claimed - colourfully, shall we say - in an interview that modern managers with "70-page dossiers" could baffle players.
Of course one victory hardly wipes away doubts about the Portuguese that remain from his flawed spell at Chelsea, especially against a Reading team that understandably looked off the pace following a 25-day break from competitive football.
But there was a purpose, shape and fluidity about Spurs, especially in midfield, that ensured Villas-Boas was sporting a smile that looked like it might have to be surgically removed after the final whistle.
It is a nonsense that any manager's future should be examined after three games, but there is no doubt Villas-Boas has a credibility gap to make up, given the turbulence at Stamford Bridge and the fact that he was replacing a popular manager who took Spurs to fourth last season.
He is also working with a powerful personality and chairman in Daniel Levy, so it is natural the dynamics of their relationship will be studied closely.
Villas-Boas was a feisty, confrontational individual at Chelsea and by the time he left was not winning any popularity contests - but now is his chance to fashion a new team at White Hart Lane while demonstrating personal lessons have been learned.
He showed strength of character and good man-management in insisting 41-year-old goalkeeper Brad Friedel would not be instantly replaced by France captain Hugo Lloris, after the latter arrived in a deal that could cost almost £12m.
No matter that Spurs could have played without a goalkeeper for large portions of this win - two goals from Jermain Defoe with Bale's between them was scant reward for how far superior they were to Reading - the decision to back Friedel was an illustration that form not price tags will be his guide. His players will surely appreciate that policy if Villas-Boas sticks to it.
The context must be provided by how poor Reading were, although Brian McDermott's side will have better days ahead, but there was plenty for Villas-Boas to be content about as the bus pulled out of Reading.
Sandro and Mousa Dembele formed a central midfield partnership of power and threat, the latter in particular seeming to have a selection of higher gears to slip into. Gylfi Sigurdsson, warmly received by Reading fans after his spell there, was also progressive and showed his quality with a wonderful sliding pass that helped Aaron Lennon set up Defoe's first.
Lennon may also cause some of Villas-Boas's luxurious locks to turn grey before their time, but his partnership with Kyle Walker has burning pace, while Bale will provide creativity and goals on the other flank.
Defoe, meanwhile, seems reborn in the lone striker role. Never doubted as an instinctive finisher, here he worked tirelessly for the team as well as doing what comes naturally. Villas-Boas could not have been more lavish in his praise of the striker, again something an important player will appreciate.
It means no easy route back for Emmanuel Adebayor just yet and new boy Clint Dempsey was restricted to a 12-minute run-out as a substitute with the game comfortably put to bed.
So while one win hardly ushers in the new era, a start has at least been made and Villas-Boas now knows there is good will waiting to come his way from Spurs fans.
He announced he would "come out of Reading very satisfied". And who can blame him?