Hearts boss Gary Locke was full of praise for his young side after they came from behind to beat 10-man Aberdeen 3-1 at Pittodrie.
But he acknowledged the role of keeper Jamie MacDonald in getting the three points.
"We've got our goalkeeper to thank for keeping us in the game," said Locke.
"In the first half, Aberdeen came out of the traps and were playing with a lot of confidence because they've been on a great run."
Niall McGinn had put the Dons in front with a crisp volley after 25 minutes, but was denied from the penalty spot by MacDonald after Jordan McGhee's hand-ball.
Barry Robson's red card early in the second half set the scene for a fine comeback, with Jamie Walker levelling matters, before turning provider for Callum Paterson.
Ryan Stevenson sealed matters in the final minute.
"You could say the red card changed the game," added Locke. "It's always difficult against 10 men.
"Sometimes it can work against you, but I think we made the right changes at the right times, and for our second half-performance we deserved the win.
"The team spirit has been fantastic this year, and last week was the first time we'd been disappointed in how we'd performed.
"The boys have come back in the right manner this week, and the effort the players gave was fantastic and I'm delighted to get the result our efforts deserved.
"It's a young team, but if they put the work-rate in as they did today, they'll give themselves a chance."