Rui Patricio felt Sporting showed their strength by responding to two defeats with UEFA Champions League success against Schalke.
Sporting began matchday four bottom of Group G and without a win having been beaten 4-3 by Roberto Di Matteo's side last time out.
That reverse came in controversial circumstances too with Roberto Di Matteo's side awarded a hotly-disputed late penalty.
Marco Silva's men also suffered their heaviest defeat in two years on Saturday, falling 3-0 to Guimaraes in the Primeira Liga .
But any frustration was channelled into an energetic performance as Sporting completed an important victory to climb above Maribor and within a point of Schalke in Group G.
"We gave a great response today after a few bad results," Patricio told UEFA's official website.
"We only have to think about ourselves and now we have another home game, against Maribor, which we will do everything to win.
"We played a great match and we deserved this result.
"We are still in the race for the next stage. We want to go through the group stage and today we showed that we are still alive and that we are a strong team."
Sporting have boosted their chances of reaching the last 16 with two games to play in the group.
Manager Marco Silva insisted their confidence never wavered, despite falling behind to an unfortunate first-half own-goal before three goals from Naby Sarr, Jefferson and Nani put them in control only for Schalke to peg them back at 3-2 in the closing stages.
"We never stopped believing in ourselves and we could have been in front at half-time," Silva told UEFA's official website.
"In the second half we showed a good offensive dynamic and we reached a comfortable lead.
"We did not shake when they made it 3-2 and we scored again.
"We had to win this match to stay in the race for the round of 16 and we did it. Now we will have another difficult match, at home against Maribor, a difficult team, and we will have to win that one too."comments