Mark Robins hailed captain Peter Clarke for embodying Huddersfield's never-say-die approach in the battling 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough.
The Town boss was impressed that Clarke played on with a broken nose suffered while winning a key header in the build up to the hosts' equalising goal.
Robins was delighted to register his second win since taking charge of the Yorkshire club, and the former Coventry boss said: "I thought the captain summed up our effort.
"He's broken his nose while heading that corner but he's raced to celebrate the goal with his nose all over the place and then played the rest of the game."
After the hosts fell behind to a Scott McDonald strike 12 minutes from time, substitute Alan Lee prodded home the rebound with his first touch after Clarke's header from an Adam Clayton corner was parried by Jason Steele.
Fellow substitute Danny Ward then fully lifted the gloom at a foggy John Smith's Stadium with a cracking stoppage-time winner from distance.
The winger, out since Boxing Day with a broken metatarsal, went on a solo run from Jack Hunt's pass and then lashed a low drive past Steel.
Robins is now looking to get more out of Ward, and said: "From what I've been told Danny's been quite disappointing in his time here, but that's only because everybody knows how talented he is. We're going to have to work with him to get good performances from him more often."
Boro manager Tony Mowbray said his side must improve if they are to be a force in the npower Championship.
"This last six weeks has cost us and we keep conceding goals that we shouldn't concede," he said. "We have to improve drastically. The players need to do their jobs. We are being naive and it's happening too often."