Chris Wilder praised the character of his Sheffield United side after David McGoldrick's late winner sent them fourth in the Championship.
McGoldrick's goal sealed a 3-2 victory over Preston at Bramall Lane, after the visitors - who drop to the bottom of the table - hit back from 2-0 behind to level at 2-2.
"I'm delighted and proud with the way we set up," said Wilder.
"It's never dull here, but the players showed tremendous character to get themselves back up off the canvas.
"Even the most ardent of Preston North End fans would say that we did more than enough in the first 60 minutes to be comfortable and out of sight. But we didn't and respect to them as they came back and changed their shape around a bit.
"I'm delighted to get the right result, which in my opinion is a home win. We went back to the team that's done ever so well recently and I thought we were outstanding in the first half.
"I'm delighted we got our noses in front and the swagger about us was good to see.
"I'm a pessimistic football manager and I know anything can go wrong at 2-0.
"We made a positive substitution at 2-2 and we've managed to win it. Not how we thought at half past four, but it would have been a travesty if we hadn't."
United were dominant for long periods and found themselves two goals up early in the second half thanks to a fifth of the season for Billy Sharp and a flicked header from a set-piece from Chris Basham.
Without an away league goal in their previous four games, Preston hit back twice in as many minutes after their two substitutions changed the complexion of the game.
Callum Robinson, who was lively for the Lilywhites throughout, tapped home before Daniel Johnson fired a deflected shot into the net for a dramatic equaliser.
Preston were denied an unlikely draw and consigned to a third defeat in a row by McGoldrick, who found space in the box to fire home three minutes from time to give his side all three points.