Fulham fell behind to a deflected Gary Hooper strike, but goals from Pajtim Kasami and a late stunner from Scott Parker sealed a 2-1 win.
Meulensteen said: "It was a big statement. We've worked so hard, but to start this block of four games over the Christmas period with a win was very important.
"The goal we conceded was early in the match and got deflected off Aaron (Hughes) and looped over the keeper. But we responded well and it was a great free-kick from Kasami and the second half we built on that.
"I cannot fault the players for resilience. We're looking for clean sheets, but obviously we conceded today, but I said make sure we keep a clean sheet in the second half and then if you score again you win the game.
"We're still in the bottom three and there's where we don't want to be, but we'll keep looking forward and looking up and keep the performances going and I think we'll steadily climb up the table."
Speaking about injured keeper Maarten Stekelenburg, Meulensteen added: "The X-ray showed there is nothing wrong with the bones so hopefully he won't be out for too long. It's ligament damage so we'll assess that."
Parker capped an all-action display with the winning goal, but he admitted he and his Fulham colleagues had to "dig deep".
Parker said: "It was a massive win for us. We're coming into this period of four games and we had to get some points on the board. Today we were first class, we were resilient and we showed we can play a bit too and thankfully we got a win.
"We've got to carry on now, it's a busy period, but it's an important period and we can really make a break.
"We had to dig very deep. We started the game very well but got hit with a sucker-punch, with a deflected goal that was a bit harsh. In the second half we looked a threat and nullified them, kept them quiet and fully deserved the win.
"Confidence-wise we've turned a bit of a corner and we need to keep going and not rest on our laurels."