Stoke boss Tony Pulis expressed his delight at his side's 1-1 draw against Dynamo Kiev, despite the late blow of conceding an equaliser in stoppage time.
Having weathered considerable pressure, Stoke took the lead 10 minutes into the second period when Cameron Jerome netted on his debut, but after Oleksandr Aliev had hit the bar for Dynamo, Ognjen Vukojevic intervened at the death, stabbing in Andriy Yarmolenko's cross to level the match.
"I am absolutely delighted with the players," Pulis said.
"Obviously we are pig sick that we have conceded late on because it would have been a great result for us, but it is still a very good point.
"Every time someone scores late against you it takes the opportunity of getting three points away and it is disappointing.
"But if you look at the overall picture, to come here and perform the way we have... for some of the players, that is their first 90 minutes this season. It is an outstanding performance and achievement from the group we had."
Several players - including the Potters' record signing Peter Crouch, winger Matthew Etherington and first-choice goalkeeper Asmir Begovic - did not make the trip to Ukraine and Pulis named a starting line-up which featured eight changes from Saturday's Barclays Premier League win over Liverpool.
His decision to send the side out in a defensive formation seemed to work well as Stoke soaked up Dynamo's pressure, although the manager suggested it had been chiefly dictated by the squad he had been left to pick from.
"We played the way we did because of the personnel we had," Pulis said. "Usually we play 4-4-2 but we didn't have the players to do that, so we decided to change it and worked for a couple of days on the system.
"It suited the players I had better than 4-4-2 - that is the only reason we did that."
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