Birmingham boss Chris Hughton was pleased after a late rally earned a 1-1 draw against Barnsley at St Andrew's.
"It was relief in the end because the first-half performance wasn't good," said Hughton.
"It was probably as poor as we have been in the period of time I've been here.
"They are a team in really good form and it showed. It was going to be a case of having to match them because we were not good enough on the ball."
"It was a wonderful strike for their goal but it was most definitely a foul, a blatant foul, leading up to the shot," Hughton said. "I was very surprised in this day and age, and looking at the other bookings, that he did not pull that one up as a foul.
"That aside, they deservedly had the lead in the first half on the balance of play."
Barnsley boss Keith Hill was satisfied to take a point from a former Premier League side.
"I was really encouraged by the performance at 1-0," said Hill. "I didn't think we were in any danger until the last 10 minutes, when there was an obvious threat.
"I thought we should have been more comfortable when holding the lead. I thought the performance merited more goals. But I am encouraged by the performance coming to Birmingham and competing.
"At times we looked an accomplished Championship side and had more than enough opportunities to have won.
"But before the game everyone had written us off, so I am encouraged by the performance and we keep our belief and confidence."