Delighted Fleetwood boss Joey Barton highlighted the battling qualities of his side after they fought from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Sunderland.
On-loan Everton defender Callum Connolly’s first goal for nine months did the trick as Town made it three games unbeaten in the league and edged into the play-off positions.
Striker Charlie Wyke had headed the visitors in front in the 59th minute, but 14 minutes later Connolly levelled with a clinical close-range finish.
“A draw was a fair result, we deserved the equaliser,” said Barton.
“Sunderland shaded the first half and they had us pinned in their territory more than we had them pinned in their half.
“But I asked the lads to respond at half-time and I thought we were much the better team in the second half. I thought we were more likely to win the game.
“Obviously there was a bit of a mix up and Charlie Wyke nips in and puts it in the net.
“And knowing how well Phil’s (Parkinson) teams defend and how resilient they are, it’s always going to be a tough task.
“But credit to our lads, they kept plugging away and we thoroughly deserved the equaliser.
“We think we’ll be there or thereabouts this season, which sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Little Fleetwood Town being a little bit disappointed drawing with Sunderland, especially when you look at the size of the two clubs.
“You can’t blow everyone away. I thought we answered a different question tonight. I think the lads did that.”
Connolly’s sweet strike was also his first goal of his second loan spell at Fleetwood.
And Barton said: “We’ve found a home for Callum at centre-half, that’s his natural position. He’s been outstanding there.
“The bonus is that he’s got those other position instincts when he comes to putting the ball in the back of the net.”
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson was frustrated that the club failed to register their first win over Fleetwood in six attempts, despite having taken the lead.
“We’re just frustrated we haven’t won the game,” admitted Parkinson. “However, we’re unbeaten on our travels and it’s a great effort from the lads.
“But now we’ve got to capitalise on that with our home form.
“We were the better side in the first half and got the goal. We did a good job against a side who scored five goals at the weekend.
“Inevitably you’re going to come under pressure and, I think if we had come through those periods unscathed, then I think we would have gone on to regain control and win the game.
“They (Fleetwood) only had a brief spell of pressure. (Callum) Camps has hit the bar and Remi (Matthews) has had to make a terrific save.
“But I felt confident in the way we were set up and getting the goal was great.
“Tonight should be classed as a good point, but we felt we could have won.”