John Gregory felt his players gave it their all after they came back from two goals down in Crawley's 2-2 draw with Preston.
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 the comeback by forcing home Nicky Adams' corner in injury time.
Crawley have now not won in their last nine League One games but Gregory was delighted with the spirit they showed.
"The players were excellent in the second half," he said.
"We were 2-0 down to a very good Preston side who are going to be pushing for automatic promotion, but we totally outplayed them in the second half.
"We had only scored one goal in our previous eight league games but we doubled that here and certainly deserved something from the game."
Gregory was critical of himself for the way he set his team up, and explained: "I made a big mistake in our formation at the start.
"It did not go to plan in the first 20 minutes and we gave them a 2-0 start. We were not comfortable so I changed it and we were a lot better at 4-4-2.
Gregory, back in English football management after an absence of six years, insists he is still "hungry and ambitious" to succeed.
He said: "This club doesn't want to stand still. They are established in League One and want to go higher and that will come."