Mark Robins hailed captain Peter Clarke for embodying Huddersfield's never-say-die spirit in a battling 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough.
Clarke played on with a broken nose he sustained in the build-up to Alan Lee's equaliser for Town.
Robins was then able to celebrate a second win since taking charge when substitute Danny Ward struck from distance in injury-time.
"I thought the captain summed up our effort," Robins said.
"He's broken his nose while heading that corner but he's raced to celebrate the goal with his nose all over the place and then played the rest of the game.
"We'd have been disappointed if we hadn't got something from the game, but even if we hadn't, I was happy with the manner of the performance.
"We played some good football on a cabbage patch. It makes you wonder how well they could play on a proper pitch.
"It was definitely our best performance since I arrived."
Ward, who had been out since Boxing Day with a broken metatarsal, finished a fine solo run with a low drive past Jason Steele and Robins challenged him to build on his match-winning display.
"From what I've been told Danny's been quite disappointing in his time here, but that's only because everybody knows how talented he is," Robins added.
"We're going to have to work with him to get good performances from him more often."