Nigel Clough said Nottingham Forest rallied after Eric Lichaj's red card and reckons that made it harder for Burton Albion to break them down after their 0-0 draw at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday.
Lichaj flew in from behind on Martin Samuelsen just before the half-hour mark and the American was deservedly given his marching orders by referee Andy Davies.
From then Forest sought to protect the point they held, and the Brewers couldn't capitalise on the numerous situations they created.
And Clough reckons Lichaj's dismissal riled Forest and enabled them to band together to ensure they left East Staffordshire with a point.
"Sometimes that's what having 10 men does," the Brewers' boss said.
"When you do go down to 10 men, especially if you feel there's an element of injustice there, then it increases that desire to keep a clean sheet.
"They did that today.
"I was sat down and it (the tackle) was behind the boards, I saw him running towards him, but I didn’t see the challenge.
"But I saw it at half-time. I don’t think it was malicious or nasty, there’s no raised feet and it’s not a two-footed tackle.
"But he did go in very aggressively, and they have this phrase don’t they these days, excessive force or something like that.
"I’m not sure about it or not, we've had a couple of players sent off this season and in comparison, I’d say it would be a red card.
"I think it was the way he set off and set about it.
"He thought he’d been fouled on the edge of his own penalty area before and i think then there was a bit of injustice.
"And from then I thought Forest rallied.
"When there is a sense of injustice it gives them that extra sort of five or ten percent against 11 men."
Despite the Brewers' lack of a clinical edge, praise has to go to Forest for the way they defended.
Aitor Karanka's side put in some timely blocks when needed, with Danny Fox launching himself in the way of Darren Bent's goal-bound effort late on.
The Brewers' efforts were in vain, but it certainly wasn't for the want of trying.
John Brayford was withdrawn for Joe Sbarra just before the hour mark having suffered a suspected calf injury, while Liam Boyce was surprisingly introduced for Jamie Allen.
That left the Brewers with just Kyle McFadzean as their only recognised defender on the pitch come full-time, with Tom Naylor alongside him at centre-back and Lucas Akins and Lloyd Dyer at full-back.
"I think it was a brilliant block when Darren Bent got that chance - he said it was going in," Clough added.
"There were numerous ones of those, you saw them fighting and scrapping.
"We couldn't have put any more attackers on the pitch, we finished with one defender.
"Kyle McFadzean was the only recognised defender on the pitch.
"We played as many attackers as we had.
"Tom Naylor is classed as a midfielder or defender, so Kyle McFadzean is really the only defender we finished with.
"We're running out of full-backs, I know that.
"Having lost Tom Flanagan and then John Brayford today, we're running out of them."