Alan Pardew believed “terrific” Crystal Palace deserved all three points despite being denied by a last-gasp equaliser at Sunderland on Tuesday.
Black Cats substitute Fabio Borini denied Palace a first Premier League victory in 11 attempts after Connor Wickham’s double had threatened to sink his former club.
Borini lashed home a dramatic leveller from an improbable angle to ensure Wickham’s second-half double claimed only a point for the visitors.
Pardew admitted few players could have scored Sunderland’s equalising goal.
He said: “He is probably the only player on the pitch who could have hit it there. He was fresh, Borini. We know he’s got a good hit and he’s hit it in an area where we couldn’t stop it.
“Overall, really it was a game we deserved to win, but I think on reflection in the morning, a draw isn’t a bad result.”
Pardew’s disappointment at his side’s failure to hang on was tempered by £9million summer signing Wickham’s contribution on a night when he took his tally to five goals for the season and four in two games.
He said: “Connor will score goals as a number nine, I’ve always thought that. He’s been a bit unlucky because he was in a great spell and he got injured and then got suspended, so he’s had a fragmented season.
“But he’s come back and he looks sharp. The first goal was a terrific goal that was worthy of any Premier League game.
“I didn’t think we played very well in the first half, but in the second half, we were terrific. It was a game that we perhaps should have won, but we have to take a point and move on.”