The Highbury Under-23s boss' first game after stepping up to the role of interim head coach brought a 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Callum Johnson's late equaliser halted a run of five straight defeats in all competitions, while the point gained in League One matched Town's total from the previous six matches.
They remain third-bottom and gap between themselves and safety has grown to four points but Crainey was impressed by the way the entire squad responded to his coaching.
The 40-year-old said: "The lads took on board the instructions and the formation that I wanted to implement on the game, and they’ve been outstanding listening to the messages. I thought they took that into the match.
“I reiterated in training on Thursday (Crainey's first session in charge) that it’s not just an 11, it’s a whole squad effort and I think that showed in the game.
“Lads were disappointed they didn’t play in the game, but the response from the subs shows that there is a real togetherness in this group.
“Hopefully we can keep improving. I think there’s more to come and I want more, but it’s a good start and hopefully we can pick up loads of points moving forward.
“They’re a good group of players and I’ve always known that. There’s a good blend of youth and experience in the group and we move onto Bolton on Tuesday (in the Papa John's Trophy) and hopefully get a positive result.”
Crainey's promotion was endorsed by his former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway on the EFL on Quest highlights show.
Holloway said he was not surprised to see the former Scotland full-back move into management, describing Crainey as "one of my warriors".
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