Manager Martin Allen felt Notts County were way below the level he expects in the first half of the 2-2 draw at Bury.
But Allen, whose side twice trailed, was pleased with their resilience as they claimed a draw - meaning they have lost just once in 10 league games.
"We weren't anywhere near our best," Allen told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"In the first half we were half a yard short of where we normally are. In the second we picked it up, changed it tactically and could have won it."
Allen made three substitutions during the second half and said the introduction of Karl Hawley, Jude Stirling and Sam Sodge played a big role in helping his side get something from the game.
"The substitutions changed the game, we changed our way of playing and it is a great point. It was a fantastic effort," Allen added.
"I wasn't very happy at half-time and I asked for more. The basics of winning headers, knockdowns and quicker, sharp passing - we were second a little bit too much in my opinion.
"We didn't play the way we like to play.
"But you have to commend the players because it's not always going to be good.
"We are not always going to play well and on those nights you have to dig deep and find something extra and the subs coming on changed it - so you have to say it was a fantastic move by the manager," Allen quipped.