Stephen Robinson revealed a half-time tactical switch made all the difference as Motherwell recovered from being outplayed by Ross County.
Well went on to win 2-0 but only after boss Robinson changed his system to a 3-5-2 at the break.
"It's probably the worst 45 minutes I've been involved with at the football club," he told BBC Scotland.
"But we changed things at half-time and then we out-fought them, out-battled them and outplayed them in that order."
Robinson felt his side had been "losing the midfield battle" in the first half, but second-half goals from Richard Tait and Louis Moult secured Well's first win of the Premiership season.
Englishman Ryan Bowman came on at the break and made a significant contribution, and Robinson also praised the impact of an emerging 19-year-old.
"Allan Campbell came on and made a tremendous difference," he said.
"He won every second ball and gave us a foothold in the game. Ryan Bowman was excellent too and chased every ball.
"Credit to Ross County; they came out the traps well, passed it really well and out-fought us and most definitely outplayed us in the first half."
Moult's third goal of the season came from the penalty spot and Robinson was pleased with his display despite speculation surrounding his future.
Chris Cadden is another player rumoured to be interesting other clubs, with Hull City reportedly keen.
"Unless someone puts in a ridiculous bid that's acceptable to the board, then Louis Moult is 100% committed to Motherwell until the end of the season," said Robinson.
"I wouldn't be starting him if I didn't think he was committed.
"The club have had no contact at all about Chris Cadden in recent weeks. He's a super young footballer and like others he's attracted interest, but there have been no bids and he is a Motherwell player."
Ross County boss Jim McIntyre was left to lament his side's lack of cutting edge.
"That's as good a first-half display as we have had in my time here," he told BBC Scotland.
"We were excellent, but didn't have that ruthless side and it came back to bite us.
"Motherwell made the system change in the second half and more or less matched us up.
"We made a scrappy mistake - very uncharacteristically from Andrew Davies - and goals change games. We re-grouped and made a great chance to equalise through Alex Schalk and we've got to score it."