Stephen Glass praised his Aberdeen players’ determination after they twice came from behind against Livingston before reaching the Scottish Cup quarter-finals on penalties.
Glass enjoyed a winning debut after the game finished 2-2 after extra-time and his side will host Dundee United in the last eight after a midweek Scottish Premiership clash with Celtic.
The Dons lost goalkeeper Joe Lewis just before Jay Emmanuel-Thomas netted the first of his double, but Niall McGinn equalised on the break with 13 minutes left.
Substitute Florian Kamberi also levelled two minutes after Aberdeen fell behind to a penalty and the hosts scored all five spot-kicks, with Livingston midfielder Jason Holt hitting the bar with his effort.
“I’m delighted we came back twice against a good Livingston team that’s tough to play against,” Glass said.
“We asked the players not to panic at half-time, trust in the structure, trust in what we are trying to do and the movements we have worked on, and in the second half you saw a group of players that believed it and had the urgency to try and implement it.
“For the whole group and certainly for myself and the staff, it’s been an emotional week and it takes its toll. You could see there was an energy output and we got the game moved a day earlier which affected our plans.
“But the trust the players put in us showed. There’s a lot of work to be done, but when you’ve got a group of players with that determination, it’s a great place to come in and work.”
Former Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods could find himself adding to his debut after Lewis suffered a bang to the rib area.
“I don’t know how he is, he is walking around so he seems OK,” Glass said. “It’s a big loss when you lose a goalkeeper like Joe, Woodsy was excellent coming in, though.”
Livingston boss David Martindale revealed his goal-scorer was likely to be in the final weeks of his career in West Lothian.
“The big man was brilliant,” Martindale said. “We are probably not going to hold on to him for too much longer, he’s made his feelings clear.
“To be honest, we shouldn’t have a player of that calibre because he can go elsewhere and make a lot more money. He could probably go back to Thailand or somewhere and earn double figures a week.
“That was his best game in a Livi shirt and best of luck to him wherever he ends up.”
Livingston conceded the first equaliser moments after threatening themselves and after looking comfortable for much of the second half.
“I’m disappointed but am proud of the players at the same time,” Martindale said. “I am gutted for them because they put so much into the game.
“We should have done better with the second goal because we were up in their box and then the next thing they were in our box scoring a goal.
“So I am happy with the performance but not with the result. It was an inch that cost us in the end with Holty’s penalty.”