The Iron claimed all three points at Shrewsbury thanks to Leon Clarke's early goal, with the dominance of the visitors particularly impressive as the home side had not been beaten in their last 34 outings at the Greenhous Meadow.
"There's been a lot of rubbish flying around and the players read it. We're trying to keep the group really close together and the only way you can answer the critics is on the pitch and that's what we're trying to do," said Knill.
"This was a big step for the group. It was a brilliant three points that we wanted and I think we deserved."
The three points moved the Iron off the foot of the League One table, and after opening the campaign with four straight losses there are signs of improvement with last week's draw with Sheffield United followed by a first three-point haul of the campaign.
"We're delighted and that's our season up and running. It's taken a while, but I thought we were good from start to finish," added Knill
"I'll take 1-0, but we had many chances to score. We were really good in the opposition half and in the second half I thought we were excellent in ours, which is the most important thing.
"We can all build from it, that's our first clean sheet, and if you want to do anything, be successful, that's what you have to build from because we know we've got some players that can score."
Graham Turner, the Shrewsbury boss, felt goalkeeper Chris Weale had been vital to keeping them in the game as his side's defence had been too easily breached.
"The two features of our play so far this season is we've been able to create chances without putting them away and Weale has had very few saves to make during the course of the previous five games," he said.
"He's worked hard and has made some good saves because we left him exposed, and at the other end of the pitch we've had one or two good positions first half but we're barely worked their goalkeeper at all.
"Those two aspects that were so good early on have been poor. What we have to do now is look at ways of putting it right."