ROY Hodgson hailed his side's battling display after they held Sunderland to a goalless draw on Sunday.
The Fulham boss admitted he expected Thursday night's trip to Shakhtar Donetsk to take its toll on his injury-ravaged squad, but was delighted with his team's point at the Stadium of Light.
He said: "I suppose the importance and quality of the point is not only generated by the exertions of midweek but the fact it's an eighth game in a short month using basically the same players.
"I did fear for this game because Sunderland are very strong at home – this is where they take their points – and because we only got back in the early hours of Friday morning.
"I was concerned if ever a game was going to take its toll it would be this one.
"But once again the players really surprised me. They stood up enormously tall to the balls that were put forward to their two big centre-forwards and we defended well in front of them."