Manchester City manager Mark Hughes hailed the commitment of his players after their late fightback to earn a 2-2 draw at Blackburn Rovers.
Hughes looked to be heading for defeat on his first return to his former club as his inconsistent City side trailed 2-0 with just two minutes left on the clock at Ewood Park.
However, late strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Robinho rescued a point for the Citizens and left Hughes in upbeat mood.
"When it gets to the latter stages and the situation we are, we were struggling a little bit, he said.
"But the lads showed some fantastic effort and great commitment to keep going and I think we deserved something out of the game.
"It is difficult because we were playing back-to-back games and the spark for flowing football just wasn't there.
"But in the end we got our reward because we showed great character."
Meanwhile, Hughes has revealed his intention to tie Sturridge down to a long-term contract following his impressive display after coming off the bench.
The England Under-19 striker halved the deficit with an 88th minute strike before setting up Robinho with an incisive pass for the equaliser.
"I want to keep Daniel at the club because this is the best place for him to learn," continued Hughes.
"We want to bring some good players here and that will create the right type of environment that is conducive to good football.
"I think negotiations are quite close now.
"For some reason Daniel has been allowed to get in the last year of his contract, which swings the situation back towards the player.
"If I had been here then, I would not have allowed it to happen."