Port Vale boss Micky Adams praised the impact of substitutes Ben Williamson and Chris Birchall after the 3-2 win over Coventry.
Coventry looked a class above Adams' side in the first-half and Vale were fortunate to be only one goal behind at half-time.
But it was a totally different story after the break and Birchall's 82nd-minute clincher was ultimately thoroughly deserved.
Adams said: "As a manager you get castigated if you don't make the changes the supporters want, but fortunately that couldn't be levelled at me.
"I wanted Ben Williamson to stretch their back four and he started to do that as soon as he went on. We delivered the balls to turn Coventry around and got our rewards.
"Chris Birchall put in a real shift down the right-hand side and grabbed himself a goal. Chris loves this football club and gives his all every time he plays. I'm delighted to have him in our squad.
"The game panned out as I imagined it would. Coventry's front two of Leon Clarke and Callum Wilson are a handful for any defence and we couldn't cope with them.
"But it was more like a practice match in the first-half and that suited Coventry because they've got good players.
"We had to get closer to them and win more tackles and we did that right from the start of the second-half."
Coventry dominated the first-half and the only surprise was it took 34 minutes before they went ahead through Callum Wilson's ninth goal of the season.
Vale's defence was caught square by Cyrus Christie's hopeful ball forward and Wilson sped clear to beat Chris Neal from 10 yards.
The home side drew level in the 40th minute when Chris Lines swung over a free-kick and Tom Pope rose superbly to glance a 10-yard header inside Joe Murphy's right-hand post.
But Coventry regained the lead in sensational style three minutes later. Franck Moussa surged forward from the centre circle and crashed an unstoppable right-footed shot into the top corner from 30 yards.
The substitutions sparked a massive improvement from Vale in the second-half as Williamson, twice, and Pope squandered great chances to level.
But it was now time for the Coventry rearguard to buckle and Vale skipper Doug Loft slammed in a low 10-yard shot for a 59th-minute equaliser after the visitors had failed to deal with another Lines free-kick.
There were further chances at both ends before Birchall's right foot squeezed a deserved winner low past Murphy after Williamson and then Pope had shots blocked.