Jose Mourinho admitted his Tottenham side were "in trouble" but praised their reaction as they came back to draw at Middlesbrough and force an FA Cup third-round replay.
Spurs named a full-strength team, bar the injured Harry Kane, but trailed to the Championship side when Ashley Fletcher ran on to George Saville's ball and slotted home.
Lucas Moura saved the visitors with a fine header from Serge Aurier's cross.
"When we were losing 1-0 without strikers or the power to play inside their defensive line with lots of bodies and great soul, at that moment I had the feeling of 'we are in trouble'," Mourinho told BBC Sport.
"But then everyone reacted. I reacted. The boys reacted. Giovani lo Celso and Erik Lamela [who came on in the 56th minute] helped us a lot. If one team has to win, it has to be us. We played well very in the last 20 minutes, we were just missing a second goal."
Mourinho thought Fletcher was offside for Boro's goal, but actually seemed pleased that the video assistant referee system was not in action.
"The Middlesbrough goal is offside. VAR would give [the offside decision]. But the game was good. The referee was Stuart [Attwell], not some guy in an office 200 miles away," he said,
Moura twice went close to a winner, with goalkeeper Tomas Mejias stopping his long-range shots.
Aurier could have won the game for Mourinho's side in the closing minutes but fired an effort well over the bar.
Fletcher had an earlier chance to make it 2-1 to Middlesbrough - managed by one-time Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate - but shot straight at Paulo Gazzaniga.
No date for the replay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been set yet.
"We wanted to win but we knew it would be difficult. We managed to bring the game to our stadium. It's a game we don't need, our squad is short with so many problems - but it's a game at home and we have to go for it," said Mourinho.