Stoke boss Tony Pulis praised the courage and commitment of his players as they grabbed a deserved 1-1 draw at Everton on Sunday.
Stoke took the lead with a Robert Huth header in a feisty clash at Goodison Park before Leon Osman blasted home a spectacular equaliser.
Pulis was delighted with the point, saying: "Last season we were beaten and overpowered at Everton, but this time we showed great character and deserved the point."
He added: "You have to stand up and be counted at places like this, and that is what we did. I am very pleased with the performance.
"We are happy with a point and it was a much better performance to the one that saw us lose at Manchester United last weekend.
"The players were more committed, we defended very well when we had to.
"Last season we were absolutely murdered at Everton, but this time we have taken a few punches and kept getting up. We were smashing.
"There are areas we have to improve on, but it is small steps for a club like us.
"Everton really test a team in the box, they have big players who are very good in such situations. They trouble you with set plays, this is a very difficult place to come."
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