Carlos Carvalhal branded his Sheffield Wednesday side "lucky" after Adam Reach's header at the death earned them a point from a 1-1 draw at Preston.
Reach's dramatic equaliser allowed Wednesday to finish 2016 on a high note and ensured they start 2017 in the play-off places.
The £5m summer signing fired in following a 94th minute goalmouth scramble that had seen two Owls shot blocked.
Preston will feel hard done to after dominating proceedings in the second half after a tepid 45 minutes, as a combination of Kieren Westwood and some dogged defedning did the trick for the visitors.
Carvalhal said: "We won one point that's for sure.
"Sometimes the opponent makes it very difficult and that's what happened. Preston did that to us, they put a lot of pressure on and made it very difficult to play our style of game.
"This kind of thing happens in the Championship, so it's important to stay together like a team until the end and believe that we can achieve the minimum of one point.
"Getting the point in the last minute is something we have done before. We still believe until the last second that we can achieve points.
"At the end we had the luck that in some games we didn't have in some other games. This is football.
We missed some pace in the side. I don't want to complain, but we had no (Gary) Hooper or (Fernando) Forestieri - these are players who give us more pace.
"The reality is that we have some problems in attack with players that are out. I'm happy with the point because I know that the future will be brighter because we will recover the players and have more options."
The first half was a total non-event, Callum Robinson bringing the only save with a drilled low shot that Kieren Westwood turned behind for a corner.
Proceedings did liven up considerably after half-time but chances were still limited. Most fell to North End, Paul Gallagher being denied by a brave block and Aiden McGeady firing into the side-netting.
Westwood also dealt with another Robinson shot before the deadlock was broken 13 minutes from time.
A neat move down the North End left flank ended with the ball being drilled across the face of goal and touched into the net by Hutchinson.
The Owls, whose best moment up to that point had come when Tom Clarke denied Steven Fletcher a header on goal, finally woke up as David Jones fired over and Fletcher put another effort wide.
That seemed to be that until Reach struck in the final minute of stoppage time to keep Wednesday in the top six.