Darren Ferguson says the fight back from his Doncaster Rovers side at MK Dons provided the perfect response to any suggestions they would let their season peter out.
Rovers fought back from a goal down and a disappointing first half performance to beat relegation haunted Milton Keynes with a brace from John Marquis.
"That is an answer to anyone who thinks we would let our season peter out because that determination to win a game like that is outstanding," Ferguson said.
"The lads were shattered because they'd put so much effort in.
"The character they showed was excellent because we were nowhere near the levels I expect from them or they expect from each other in the first half."
Ferguson was much more pleased with the second half performance from Rovers as a switch to 4-2-3-1 took effect.
In the opening period they had been overwhelmed by a Dons side in a desperate battle for points as they look to climb out of the relegation zone.
Ferguson said: "Second half I thought we were very good. We worked our way into the game.
"First half we were nowhere near. We weren't at it at all.
"I was pleased we were only one down at the break.
"We didn't play with any energy. We lost every individual battle.
"They were far superior to us in the first half.
"I was really disappointed.
"But second half we changed one or two things at half time.
"To be fair they responded magnificently well.
"The goal just after half time really gave us a boost.
"It was a really important win."