Peter Houston praised the resilience of his Dundee United players after they earned a point against Kilmarnock after a hard Europa League tie on Thursday.
Rory McKeown blasted Killie ahead but United fought back to level through Danny Swanson and might have won even when injury reduced them to 10 men.
"I cannot fault my players for their effort," Houston told BBC Scotland.
"Three days after a very tough match at Tannadice against the Polish outfit and we were still going strong."
Houston was referring to the draining 3-2 win over Slask Wroclaw in the Europa League qualifier that resulted in the Scots exiting the tournament on the away goals rule.
In Sunday's Scottish Premier League match, it was goalless at half-time but within a minute of the re-start the young Northern Irishman McKeown hit a wonderful shot past Dusan Pernis to put the Terrors in trouble.
Houston replaced Johnny Russell with Swanson 10 minutes later and that move paid off when he volleyed United level from outside the box.
New signing Gary Mackay-Stevens also came on as a substitute but limped off having twisted his ankle after United had made all three changes.
"I think Kilmarnock played really well in the first half," added Houston.
"Their system is very difficult to play against sometimes but we changed it at half-time and I thought we were the better team in the second half.
"Indeed, even down to 10 men I thought we could have won it in the last minute with but David [Goodwillie] decided to go round the goalkeeper.
"We were the team who was pushing to win the game. OK, we were taking chances at the back but it had to be done.
"It speaks volumes for the players that we have got that, with a small squad, we are still fit and still hungry and we had a desire not to be beaten today.
"I would have been disappointed if we hadn't taken anything from the game."