Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock was 'very proud' of his players after their resilient display in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal.
The Blades battled hard before three goals in 15 minutes led to their downfall at Emirates Stadium, but despite the end result Warnock, taking charge of his 1,000th game as a manager, was encouraged by the efforts of his charges after their difficult start to the season.
"Well I think as a manager you can't ask any more than your players giving you everything and everyone that came on today gave me everything," Warnock told Sky Sports.
"We were beaten by a better side but I was very proud of them today.
"I though we did excellent and even [Arsenal captain Thierry] Henry said that to me as he came off, 'It was a difficult game today' and it was.
"I thought tactically we couldn't just go at them because they would batter us, so we gave them a lot of problems about how to break us down, we had one or two chances.
"We never expected to get anything but there were a lot of plusses today.
"We have got three leagues within The Premiership and we are in a group of eight teams and today wasn't one to win, but I thought we gave a good account of ourselves and other teams have got to come here.
"But we have to get that first win under our belt."
Warnock was upset that United were pulled up for a high foot by Rob Hulse on Johan Djourou before Mikele Leigertwood hammered home the loose ball after the whistle had blown in the first half.
"I thought the Leigertwood 'goal' was a little bit controversial due to the fact that Alan Wright's been kicked in the head and nothing has been given, but a similar situation's been given there, but we are at The Emirates after all," added Warnock.
William Gallas opened the scoring with his first goal for Arsenal as he volleyed past Ian Bennett as Premiership debutant Claude Davis played him onside after Thierry Henry's through-ball.
However, Warnock was careful not to criticise his inattentive stopper after Davis missed much of pre-season due to injury.
"I think Claude played him onside, probably because it's his first game and he's been out for pre-season.
"[The] first game to come back against Arsenal in The Premier League it's difficult.
"You only have to look at the team-sheet, it's fantastic.
"You look at HenryÇª but we were in the game today, we set out to make sure there were a few tackles and I thought first half they were probably worse than us in tackles, and I thought they were playing the long ball so it was good."
As The Blades toiled up front, striker Colin Kazim-Richards impressed on his Premiership debut as he edged a personal duel with Emmanuel Eboue and provided a threat throughout.
The striker moved to Bramall Lane from Brighton on transfer deadline day with a dubious reputation, but Warnock has been pleased with his attitude and performance to date.
"The lad's in Brighton reserves three weeks ago and now he is making his debut at The Emirates, it's a dream come true, it's like a fairytale.
"You know I've seen something in him, its time he turned his life into a discipline.
"He's got a lot of ability but unfortunately its not just Mark McGhee at Brighton, one or two other people think it has gone wrong and it's a challenge to me to sort him out.
"At the moment he is working very hard and doing what I'm asking of him and its very pleasing to see him play like that."