Chris Wilder, the Sheffiield United manager, admitted his side's 2-2 draw at Aston Villa felt like a win after they came from two goals down to end their run of defeats.
United travelled to Villa Park on the back of three successive losses, and were staring down the barrel of a fourth when Albert Adomah netted a disputed penalty and Mile Jedinak added a second inside the opening 10 minutes.
But Clayton Donaldson pounced twice in the first half to earn United a share of the spoils and although Leeds' win over Hull saw United drop out of the play-offs, Wilder said: "It was a great performance. We would have been desperately disappointed not to have got something from the game.
"Maybe we did not do enough to win. They started massively on the front foot and then we got back into the game which later ebbed and flowed.
"I was delighted when the chips were down it was an attitude and character game more than a free flowing performance.
"It is not the biggest result of day in the Championship but it feels like a win to us after recent games.
"The general feeling is that we are progressing and now we have to two massive home games with a sell-out against Sunderland on Boxing Day."
Donaldson scored his third and fourth goals in United colours since arriving from Villa's arch rivals Birmingham; an impressive lob over Sam Johnstone and then a clinical finish through the goalkeeper's legs, after a howler from Jedinak.
"In his first game he scored two goals against Sunderland and then pulled his hamstring," Wilder added.
"It's been a little stop-start for Clayton. He has got back into the side over the last three weeks and is doing well.
"His signing from Birmingham City may have surprised a few people but he suited the way we are.
"We are not big hitters in the Championship but we have to work to identify players we can get into the club.
"Hopefully he can now kick on as scoring two goals against Villa will boost his confidence."