Steve Clarke believes Scotland “proved how good they are” in their 0-0 draw with England at Wembley.
Scotland produced a superb performance and created a number of good chances to win, but the draw is enough to keep their Euro 2020 hopes alive.
A win over Croatia at Hampden on Tuesday should be enough to reach their first ever major tournament knockout stage.
Scotland manager Clarke had particular praise for debutant Billy Gilmour and right wing-back Stephen O’Donnell, who he felt had been unfairly criticised after Monday’s game with Czech Republic.
O’Donnell came close to opening the scoring, while Gilmour was named man of the match.
Clarke told STV: “I am delighted for the players and staff, it was a great performance.
“We knew we would have to suffer a bit at times out of possession, but I was delighted with the way we played with the ball as well.
“We created chances, I have always said that we are a good team.
“I thought the reaction after the game on Monday was a little bit over the top, but it’s nice to close a few voices down.
“I think we showed the real Scotland on Monday, and we were harshly criticised for it.”
Clarke made four changes from the opening game defeat, bringing in Gilmour, Che Adams and Callum McGregor, while Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney returned from injury.
He believes his squad answered those who criticised their performance in the 2-0 defeat to Czech Republic.
He said: “I have said for a long time that we have a good group of players and they proved that again tonight. We hope it will get us into the next stage of the competition.
“I was hoping Stephen O’Donnell would score as he was very unfairly criticised the other night and his performance tonight was outstanding.
“If he scored that goal, it would have been justice for the boy, he’s a good player.
“It was never in doubt with Billy, he is a really top player, we know what he has got. Unfortunately his legs ran out towards the end, but he doesn’t get much football for Chelsea. He has trained really well with the group and we were delighted to get him on the pitch.
“It’s going to be a big game on Tuesday, I hope the fans enjoy the night and behave themselves and get back home safely.”