Stoke boss Nathan Jones praised his side for securing a point at QPR with 10 men but accused Sam Clucas of ruining their gameplan by being sent off.
Clucas ludicrously got himself dismissed after just eight minutes of the 0-0 draw for stamping on Josh Scowen in full view of referee Gavin Ward.
Scowen followed through with an innocuous sliding challenge just as Ward, who was standing just a few yards away, blew for a free-kick after Clucas had handled the ball near the edge of the Rangers penalty area.
Clucas inexplicably reacted and was immediately shown the red card.
But Rangers were unable to take advantage – and themselves ended the match with 10 men after Grant Hall was sent off after picking up a second yellow card late on.
Jones made no excuses for Clucas, whose actions meant the visitors spent almost the entire game on the back foot.
“It did scupper plans that we felt were well laid,” said Jones.
“I’m bitterly disappointed. It’s a lack of discipline that cost us really, because we’d have liked to come here and get three points.”
But Jones was encouraged by the battling qualities shown by players whose attitude was questioned prior to the Welshman taking over in January.
“You have to adapt and we showed that we are adaptable,” he said.
“It was a performance full of character, work-rate and discipline.
“Let’s be honest, that’s not been synonymous with this group in the past. There have been articles written about the group being bad eggs and this, that and the other.
“They’re laying that to rest. I’m proud of them today. I’m proud of the work-rate and the structure we showed.
“That’s how successful teams are made – on that backbone. We had a strong backbone today.
“We were never really under any real pressure and we showed a fantastic fighting spirit and desire to get a point.
“We’re looking solid and are not conceding goals. We’re moving in the right direction.
“We have a platform and a base that means we are gaining a bit of momentum.”