Paul Warne was full of admiration for the way his Rotherham side coped with adversity during the goalless draw with Bristol City at the New York Stadium.
Warne’s plans were thrown into disarray shortly before kick-off when skipper Richard Wood, a doubt heading into this clash, pulled up in the warm-up with an injury.
That took the number of absentees to eight, leaving Warne with only five substitutes and having to play midfielder Will Vaulks in defence.
Rotherham produced a spirited display, though, and missed a great chance to break the deadlock when the unmarked Michael Smith headed over the crossbar from close range.
City came into the game in the second half and replacements Marley Watkins and Jamie Paterson both hit the woodwork.
But Warne hailed his side’s character as they took their points tally to 11 from a possible 18 in the Championship at home this season.
“I think it is a point gained,” said Warne, who is set to have Zak Vyner, Richie Towell and Kyle Vassell back for Saturday’s trip to Birmingham.
“We are down to our bare bones. We have got one first-team centre-half and one first-team centre-forward.
“Woody broke down in the warm-up, which was a shock, because he trained yesterday and looked fine. I didn’t expect that.
“He was heartbroken, came and apologised to me, which he didn’t have to do because I think the world of him. He owes me nothing.
“We reshuffled the pack. Our first-half performance was outstanding. That is the most we’ve had the ball at home, just a pity our good play didn’t result in a goal.
“In fairness, they could have scored. I think the game was deserved as a 2-2 or 3-3. It was end to end, really open. Their subs improved them.
“Overall, I am pleased with a point. It could be more, but it could be nothing.
“They were really motivated and had a belief. Whichever XI I put out they will put on a performance. Their attitude has to be up there. The lads work their socks off for this club.”
Bristol City boss Lee Johnson revealed his side required a stern talking to at half-time following a below-par 45 minutes.
Johnson’s words paid dividends in terms of performance after the interval, but City are still without a win at Rotherham for 23 years.
“At half-time I would have shaken your hand and taken it (a draw),” Johnson said.
“But in the second half we finished strong and our subs made a difference. Arguably, we could have won it.
“Overall, on the balance of play, it was quite an open game between two honest teams. But we have had the better chances.
“At half-time I did tell them. I was quite lively in there because it needed to be said.”
On his yellow card at the death, Johnson said: “You have probably got to be ready for a few more of those. I do like to discuss the referee’s decision with the fourth official.
“I thought it was a UFC move from the goalkeeper on Paterson, a knee drop. I know goalkeepers are protected but outfield players need to be too.”