Andrew Strauss admitted his relief after claiming England's first series victory since the Ashes with an emphatic triumph over Pakistan at Headingley.
Stand-in captain Strauss, who has been leading the side in the absence of injured pair Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff, guided England's patched-up side to a convincing 167-run win in the third npower Test win to seal the series victory with one match to play, at The Oval next week.
The victory was achieved with Pakistan being dismissed for 155 on the final day, chasing a victory target of 32, with left-arm spinner Monty Panesar claiming three for 39 while Sajid Mahmood grabbed Test-best figures of four for 22.
But having lost a series in Pakistan, drawn in India and disappointed during the drawn home series against Sri Lanka at the start of this summer, Strauss stressed: "It's very important to get back to winning ways.
"We've played some very good Test cricket since the last Ashes series, but we probably haven't done it as consistently as we'd have liked.
"Now we've had three Test matches in a row where we've played very good cricket. Success breeds success and hopefully we can go out and do it again next week and we'll be in a very good position to look forward to the Ashes in Australia in the winter."
Once again Northamptonshire spinner Panesar, who claimed five wickets to help clinch an innings victory in the previous Test at Old Trafford, played a key role by dismissing both Younis Khan and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to end Pakistan's resistance in mid-afternoon.
"Monty has done everything that has been asked of him so far," enthused Strauss. "This Test match - on a wicket that wasn't as helpful as the one at Old Trafford - he did a first-rate job.
"With every game he plays for England, he looks more settled in the side and hopefully he'll get better and better.
"I think we had a score to settle with ourselves because we didn't play as well as we should have done in Pakistan.
"We back ourselves, when we play well, to beat just about any team in the world and it was a question of getting that quality of performance out of ourselves.
"I felt there was a real hunger to win in this England team over the last three Tests and that's very encouraging to see."
Strauss added: "We knew if we did everything right today we had a good chance of victory, but that doesn't mean that you expect it to happen.
"The guys had to show a lot of discipline and patience today and in the end we got what we deserved. I think the guys have been outstanding for the past three Test matches but, in a close-fought game like this, it comes down to your ability to handle pressure and I thought we did that very, very well."
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer had no complaints about the series outcome and admitted: "I thought they played better than us.
"Throughout the series we never quite got it together as a team," said the former Warwickshire coach. "We had a lot of good individual performances but we dropped catches at crucial stages and gave England a lifeline and it cost us the series.
"In saying that, after Manchester, I thought we fought really well. Even when England got 500, we fought back to get a lead and bowled England out and we had a realistic chance of squeezing a win today; in the first hour this morning, we threw that chance away."
Pakistan have a two-day fixture against West Indies A at Shenley this weekend and will assess the fitness of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who has been out for six months with ankle problems and played for Berkswell in the Birmingham League last weekend in a bid to regain full fitness before the final Test starts next Thursday.
But Mohammad Asif, who flew home before the start of the Test series with an elbow complaint, is more likely to return for the start of the one-day series the following week.