Mark Hughes described Stoke City's 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Sunday as a "huge point" after his side moved off the bottom of the Premier League table.
Stoke were on track for a fifth defeat from seven top-flight games after Anthony Martial's goal, but a David de Gea error allowed Joe Allen to equalise and snatch a draw for Hughes' men.
The Welshman accepted Stoke have not started the season well, but insisted his team have had difficult games.
"It's a huge result for us," Hughes said. "We have started the season not as well as we hoped.
"We knew when we got points on the board then we'll still go close to the targets we set ourselves. It will be an unexpected point in the eyes of a lot of people.
"You look at the opening six or seven games we had and they are difficult fixtures. We are not a million miles away from where we thought. We were maybe one win short of what we expected."
Hughes said recent performances gave him an indication Stoke have been improving, hailing the organisation of his side as key to earning a draw he felt was well deserved.
"It's a big performance and a big result," Hughes said. "I've seen it coming with the results recently and we have carried on in that ilk. We were solid and organised.
"We showed our fortitude and were not to be denied. We have been behind and gone a bit too gung-ho, but today we were patient. I think it's what we deserved."