Steve Bruce paid tribute to goal hero Titus Bramble as Wigan Athletic moved out of the relegation zone with a superb draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
The often-maligned centre-back scored his second goal in two games to give Wigan a brave 1-1 draw to heighten the pressure on Liverpool chief Rafael Benitez.
"Titus has had some unfair treatment over the last few years, people forget that he is still only a young lad and had been playing centre-half for a top side, so he has not been that bad," said Bruce.
"He has done well for me, he is a good defender who has had far too much unfair stick over the years.
"That's two in two for him and I could not be more pleased with him.
"It is Wigan's first point against the big four clubs, so that is very enjoyable.
"When they scored we had to hang in there, it couldn't have come at a worse time, but the longer the game went on the more comfortable we were.
"If we keep producing like that, who knows how far we can go.
"Since I took over we have played five of the top 10 teams, and we have amassed a few points to get ourselves out of the relegation zone.
"Six weeks ago I thought we were in danger of becoming marooned if we had not started to pick up results, we were just two points ahead of Derby.
"But we have now forced ourselves out of the bottom three, and we intend to stay out."
Benitez conceded that the gap between Liverpool and leaders Arsenal is getting increasingly difficult after witnessing his Anfield side throw away victory.
Liverpool were 1-0 ahead thanks to a Fernando Torres goal when they were hit by a late Bramble equaliser.