Phil Brown hailed goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann for securing Preston North End's place in the semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Stuckmann's penalty shoot-out heroics helped his team edge out Rochdale, with the big German saving spot kicks from Andrew Tutte and Brian Barry-Murphy, helping the visitors win the shoot-out 4-2.
The game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. Preston took the lead when Adam Barton sent a rising drive beyond Dale keeper David Lucas. The hosts levelled when on-loan Manchester City striker Harry Bunn turned two defenders and slammed a low shot past Stuckmann.
"When a game goes to penalties, it's always going to be a bit of toss-up, but when you have a 6ft 5ins German in goal it's a little bit different!" said Brown. "He was superb for us and fully justified his place in the side and earned the shirt again at the weekend.
"I know we didn't win the game, but at least we didn't lose and we are slowly learning how to win again. We put in a decent first-half performance and the game should have been over and done with by half-time.
"I thought we struggled in the second half. We didn't change anything at half-time and neither did Rochdale, but they looked as if they wanted to play a little bit more football in the second half."