NEW manager Micky Adams hailed Sheffield United's character after late goals from Daniel Bogdanovic and Rob Kozluk rescued a point in his first game in charge at Bramall Lane.
The Blades had been on the brink of a sixth defeat in seven games after former striker Billy Sharp scored twice for South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Rovers.
Kozluk, however, scored six minutes into stoppage time to send Blades supporters home happy.
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Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll, who was linked with the Blades job prior to Adams's appointment, was angry at the performance of referee Tony Bates.
O'Driscoll felt Kozluk might have been sent off for an earlier foul on James Coppinger and was also unhappy with the amount of stoppage time allowed.
A draw was not enough to stop the Blades slipping a point closer to the Championship relegation zone and Rovers are still mid-table, five points adrift of the play-off zone.
Adams, who had opened his reign two days earlier with a
defeat at Burnley, said: "To say we were 2-0 down, I'm absolutely delighted because it showed a lot of character.
"In terms of effort and commitment, I couldn't have asked for anymore from the players. When you get on a run of defeats, five or six games at any level, it can be difficult to arrest so, to do that, especially in a local derby is pleasing."
Adams was introduced to the home crowd before kick-off and made a 'T' sign with his hands before throwing a red and white scarf into the Kop.
"I was just saying to the fans that I want time," he explained. "Give me a little bit of time to arrest the slump that we find ourselves in.
"It's been a whirlwind start but now I can get into the football club, see what I have or haven't got, and take it from there."
Adams is confident that the Blades will avoid relegation to League One if they continue to show the same qualities over the remaining months of the season.
"If they show the sort of spirit they showed (yesterday), I am convinced we will not be one of the three teams that go down," he said. "These first three games are very important, including Aston Villa (on Saturday in the FA Cup), and I will give everyone an opportunity and have a good look at everyone.
"I will be trying to improve the players on the training ground but, if I can't, we will need to improve the squad as well."
Adams praised the performance of goalscorer Kozluk who started a game for the first time this season.
It was only his third goal for the club in nearly 350 appearances and Adams quipped: "I don't know what he was doing up there to score. But it was his first start in a year so he can feel pleased with his work."
Rovers manager O'Driscoll, however, questioned whether
Kozluk should still have been on the field.
Referee Tony Bates had reduced Rovers to 10 men by showing
defender Dennis Souza two yellow cards but was more lenient with Kozluk when he conceded a penalty for pushing Coppinger to the floor midway through the second half.
O'Driscoll, who described the seven minutes of added time as 'unusual', also felt the reaction of the Blades players influenced the decision to dismiss Souza after a challenge on striker Ched Evans.
"When we get a penalty against us, we don't react – when we react, we get charged by the FA," he said. "His criteria for bookings was inconsistent – you could almost argue that Rob Kozluk should have been sent off for a second yellow for the penalty if he's going to be consistent.
"But he obviously thought it was just a foul rather than anything reckless. Dennis just went for the ball and I didn't think it was that bad a challenge but the players' reaction deemed it a serious enough offence for a yellow.
"I was more incensed with their second goal," he added.
"When the ball goes out on the halfway line and the ball is thrown in from 20 yards away. They are little things that you can sort out. Everything else is conjecture."
O'Driscoll praised the performance of two-goal striker Sharp who grew up supporting the Blades but was sold to Rovers for 1.1m last season
"When Billy gets the bit between his teeth, he is a handful," said O'Driscoll. "He had a virus but if he plays like that he is a threat, and when he is a threat he scores goals. He is still young and, unfortunately, he came to Sheffield and didn't feel he did as well as he should.
"There is still room for improvement and he knows that. He wants to play in the Premier division and he knows he has to play well week-in, week-out to achieve that.
"He wasn't doing that at Sheffield hence the move, unfortunately for him. Because I think, deep down, he would love to play for Sheffield United."