Mark Hughes praised his Stoke side despite seeing them go down to 10 men and lose 1-0 at the Stadium of Light to Sunderland.
Adam Johnson scored the only goal in the first half after Asmir Begovic failed to hold Fabio Borini's strike.
But, speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Hughes refused to be downbeat about the visitors' performance.
Hughes said: "It was a fantastic performance tonight from the lads under really difficult circumstances.
"Apart from a period of maybe 10 or 12 minutes at the beginning of the first half where they scored we totally dominated the game."
Steven N'Zonzi was shown a yellow card early in the second half for a challenge on Jozy Altidore and the Welshman thought the decision was harsh to say the least.
He added: "In the second half with 10 men we really drove the game.
"We were hampered with the referee's decision which was a poor one in my opinion but it's difficult because the lad has gone down under a very light challenge and tried to gain an advantage and the referee has bought it. We've suffered the consequences of having a man sent off.
"It was a difficult night for us but credit to the guys because I thought they were magnificent in terms of their desire to try and get back into the game.
"We looked quicker than Sunderland and tried to turn the difficult situation into our favour and although we lost the game my team take great credit."
Stoke entertain Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.