Simon Grayson had mixed emotions after Preston conceded a late equaliser to take a creditable point from a 2-2 draw at Crawley.
Goals from Paul Huntington and Josh Brownhill in the first 16 minutes put North End on course for their sixth successive away win.
But defender Joe Walsh reduced the deficit with a left-footed shot in the 66th minute and veteran striker Gary Alexander completed a stirring second-half comeback by forcing home Nicky Adams' corner in injury time.
Grayson admitted that, given it was John Gregory's first league game in charge of Town, he would have taken a point before the game.
He said: "We are still in a good position, being 11 games unbeaten, and although we would have liked a sixth successive away win, full credit to Crawley.
"With them losing 2-0, I knew there would be a reaction from John Gregory's team and Crawley created a cup-tie atmosphere in the second half."
Grayson had no doubt that had his men got a third goal they would have gone on to win. He added: "It was a game of two halves and I felt Crawley were getting a head of steam and you have to give them credit.
"But even after they pulled it back to 2-2 we could have snatched it. We had to be fully at it."