Micky Adams admits Tranmere rode their luck at times, but praised their never say die attitude as they came from behind to draw with Oxford.
The result, courtesy of Cole Stockton’s opener and Jason Koumas’ late strike, each of them spectacular in their own special way, at the very least puts Rovers in the hat for Monday’s third round draw.
They have now picked up a positive result from a losing position four times in nine games under Adams – and he is pleased to still be in the competition, even though they still have a replay to come later this month.
“It was a cracking cup tie,” he said. “It was end to end, particularly in the second half.
“First half, I was really pleased with the performance. I thought we were slightly unfortunate not to go in 2-0 up.
“We expected a response from Oxford – it’s a cup tie, there’s nothing to lose.
“So we expected them to throw a few more bodies forward.
“We conceded from a set piece and that disappoints me no end. We’re not the biggest side anyway but I still feel we should have coped with it better.
“When they got their second goal, it looked game over.
“But what resilience we’ve shown again. We’ve got that never say die spirit inside the camp and the old man’s come on and scored!
“I just had a little fancy for him. I thought it was right as the game opened up for a Jason Koumas to make a stamp on the game, and so it proved.”
“They really put us under the cosh second half and we’ve rode our luck, but we’re in the hat and that’s all that matters.”
It is only six weeks since Tranmere rolled over for the same opponents, their first and only game under the leadership of Matt Gill following Rob Edwards’ sacking.
Adams was in the stands that day, and he thinks they showed Oxford a different side to their game.
“You’d have to speak to Michael Appleton, whether he thinks we’ve improved or not.
“But I certainly think that our attitude and commitment has improved since that first game.
“I was quite shocked to be honest!
“It’s the seeds – we’re growing as a team. We’ve still got a long way to go. We’re not the finished article.
“But at least we’re putting the effort in and showing a real commitment to the cause.
“That’s what our supporters want to see.”