HULL City boss Steve Bruce heaped praise on Southend United after they ran his side close at Roots Hall on Saturday.
The Shrimpers held the Tigers for more than an hour before eventually suffering a 2-0 defeat in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
But Bruce was impressed by the standard of the League Two side who sit 63 league places below the Tigers.
“I thought Southend were terrific and all credit to them because they gave us a hell of a cup tie here,” said the former Manchester United defender.
“It was a wonderful strike from Michael Timlin and it could’ve been a completely different game if that had gone in but sometimes you need a bit of luck and we got that before we took the lead.”
Matty Fryatt put Hull in front before he hit the back of the net again in stoppage time to make it eight goals in his last five games against the Shrimpers.
And Bruce was delighted by how his players approached the game.
“They’ve never let me down with their attitude and that was the same again here,” said Bruce.
“They showed the right desire and attitude on a difficult pitch and towards the end we rolled our sleeves up like we had to and got the result.
“We made a few changes but those coming in were all experienced players and they needed a game.
“I still think it’s a shame this game wasn’t on TV because it had the chance to be an upset but we showed our quality near the end to kill off the game and I'm pleased with my team this afternoon in what could've been a very difficult game.