Alex McLeish paid tribute to Lee Bowyer's staying power and nose for goal after Birmingham City's gallant draw with Manchester United on Tuesday.
McLeish decided to keep Bowyer in the fray as Blues tried to recover after Dimitar Berbatov's 58th minute goal at St Andrew's.
Often Bowyer is the man to make way in such circumstances, but Sebastian Larsson was withdrawn first, which elicted an angry response.
Larsson tossed a tracksuit top aside in the dugout before taking his seat and exchanged words with McLeish.
The manager opted to switch Jean Beausejour to the right wing, use Larsson's replacement Aleksandr Hleb alongside Cameron Jerome and move Bowyer wide to the left with 20 minutes to go.
Then Nikola Zigic and Kevin Phillips came on - Beausejour went off, Bowyer moved to wide right, Hleb wide left - and Bowyer grabbed a dramatic late equaliser.
"There was a wee spell when some of our legs looked a bit tired," said McLeish.
"Bow was one that we said we don't think we'd take off because he's capable - if you create that chance in the box - of running off people. And he did it again - we're glad we stuck with that one."
Bowyer, soon to be 34, has now plundered key goals against Chelsea and United. He is out of contract in the summer, but McLeish wouldn't give any clues about whether he will be re-engaged.
"I don't want to start talking about contracts at this stage. He's playing well, he's performing well. But we've got a big fight ahead of us. Let's see where we are at the end of the season."
That 'big fight' involves Blues moving away from the relegation zone.
"We are where we are because we haven't scored enough goals.That's the bottom line.
"I heard David Moyes talking about it the other day, the reason why Everton are down there is becuase they haven't scored enough goals - and we haven't either.
"And we have probably conceded more sloppy goals this season than we had at this stage last season.
"But we can put that right in the second-half of the season and we have nobody else to blame but ourselves.
"Ultimately - and I've told the players this - we don't look at others, we can't look for other results to go for us all the time, we have to do it ourselves."