Burton manager Nigel Clough was delighted with his side’s resilience after they reached the Carabao Cup second round with a 2-1 win at Port Vale.
Scott Fraser struck a 62nd-minute winner, meaning Burton, who reached the competition’s semi-finals last season, will meet Morecambe in the second round.
Clough said: “It was a tough night for us, but it was always going to be.
“We started well and got the early goal and then we relaxed a little bit too much.
“After being pegged back to 1-1 the reaction was superb and we scored another brilliant goal – they were both team goals.
“We have a lot of away games in the current run of matches, so to win the first two is very important and for fitness as well, as you can’t replicate these kind of cup ties in pre-season.”
Burton went ahead thanks to a ninth-minute strike from Liam Boyce, before Vale equalised through a Mark Cullen penalty in the 53rd minute.
But Burton restored their lead nine minutes later when Lucas Akins’ effort was parried by Scott Brown and Scott Fraser latched on to the rebound to fire the ball home.
Vale assistant manager Dave Kevan said his team can take positives from the game.
He said: “We didn’t start the way we would have liked and that was a big disappointment.
“Then we got into it and could have gone on to possibly tighten our grip even more, but that didn’t happen.
“Obviously nobody enjoys a defeat, but the players put a shift in and we managed to utilise the squad.
“If you work hard, you’ll always have a chance.”