Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy praised his side for competing with Championship big spenders Nottingham Forest in Saturday's 2-2 draw.
Town's team consisted of free transfers and loan signings aside from the £10,000 paid for Tyrone Mings.
In contrast, Forest paid a club-record £5.5m fee in the summer for striker Britt Assombalonga.
"The players who have come in can be proud, but we have to keep doing it," McCarthy told BBC Radio Suffolk.
"Forest would be champions elect in a lot of people's minds. They've spent a chunk of money.
"I look at it and there's 10 grand on the pitch that we've spent. It looks well spent on Tyrone Mings.
|Ipswich's starting XI against Forest|
|Dean Gerken (free from Bristol City), Jonathan Parr (free from Crystal Palace), Luke Chambers (free from Nott'm Forest), Christophe Berra (free from Wolves), Tyrone Mings (£10,000 from Chippenham), Luke Hyam (academy)|
|Cole Skuse (free from Bristol City), Jonny Williams (on loan from Crystal Palace), Daryl Murphy (free from Celtic), David McGoldrick (free from Nott'm Forest), Conor Sammon (on loan from Derby)|
"Losing two points here can't set the tone for when we come back [after the international break]. It's the performance that has to set the tone and the performance was good."
Ipswich, now unbeaten in seven games and up to sixth in the Championship, led twice against second-placed Forest and were only denied victory by a last-minute equaliser from Michail Antonio.
Earlier, striker Daryl Murphy took his tally for the season to six with goals either side of a Robert Tesche header.
All of McCarthy's summer signings have been free transfers, with Jonny Williams and Conor Sammon coming in on loan.
In fact, the only fee McCarthy has paid since taking over at Portman Road in November 2012 was the £10,000 to bring 21-year-old defender Mings to the club from Chippenham in December 2012.
The full-back, who signed a new three-year deal last month and put in a strong performance at Forest, was a target for Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day.
"You can see I turned that money down can't you? That was a flat 'no'. They would have got a bargain," said McCarthy.