The summer signing was dropped after a rough afternoon on his full league debut against Oxford United in August which saw him substituted in the first half.
De Gevigney was recalled to the starting line-up at league level at the weekend and after impressing, albeit in a losing cause in Saturday's 1-0 League One home loss to Blackpool, the former Nimes player produced another strong showing but this time in a win as Barnsley recorded an outstanding 4-0 triumph at Cambridge United.
The success moved Collins's side up to fourth place, on a night when de Gevigney also found the net.
Collins, whose side visit Exeter City on Saturday, said: "We have got to take it step by step. I think it was a big one for someone like Mael.
"He played well on Saturday, but coming here is difficult. I have been here as a player and it's different when you are defending that goal in front of a lot of Cambridge fans, it's quite intense and a different experience for him, but he rose to that challenge well.
"I think there's lots we need to improve in both aspects of the game, but it was a good step-up from Saturday."
Away-day kings Barnsley recorded their fourth road victory on the spin on a fine night in the Fens.
Nicky Cadden gave the visitors the ideal start before de Gevigney got the final touch to net his first career goal in England on 33 minutes.
Max Watters added a third just before the hour mark before Jon Russell provided late gloss with a fourth.
Collins continued: "I think there were a lot of aspects, particularly the first-half performance which was as good as we've maybe been in all aspects of the game.
"We created a couple of really good opportunities and got a couple of goals and had to defend as well.
"We know Cambridge had some really good physical attributes to put us under pressure in set-pieces.
"But all in all, it was a good team performance where we showed a willingness to defend our box, but also a lot of quality in possession. The players implemented things with a bit of quality.
"The performance was very good in an attacking sense and defending sense."
The win took Barnsley's total of away points this season up to a superb 13 from five games, the best in the division.
At home, it is a different story. The Reds have lost four out of six games, winning two. Their total of six points is the 17th best record in League One.
Collins added: "In the three out of four home games we have lost, we have given away three penalties to lose the first goal.
"You put yourselves on the back foot when you do something like that, so if we can cut that out and add a couple of other things, our home form will improve."