Sheffield Wednesday manager Alan Irvine admitted his relief after his side's 1-0 win at home to Bury in the Carling Cup first round.
The Shakers created a host of chances but their failure to capitalise on them proved costly when Owls substitute Giles Coke drilled home a low shot in the 60th minute.
Irvine said: "I am relieved because we were poor. They were the better team.
"There were a lot of poor individual performances. It disappointed and surprised me because I expected better of them. They didn't play at the levels I've seen in pre-season and in training.
"I knew that they were a good footballing team and that's what we spoke about before the game. We made our players aware that they pass the ball well.
"If I'd been able to make more changes than three substitutions then I would have. I could easily have taken off more than two players at half-time. I got a response from the players in the second-half. We certainly got away with it but the one good thing is that we're in the next round."