Fraizer Campbell was left with mixed emotions following the Tigers' remarkable 5-5 draw against Bristol City on Saturday.
In an action-packed encounter at Ashton Gate, Campbell slid home an 87th-minute goal from a cross by substitute Kamil Grosicki to put Nigel Adkins’ side ahead 5-4 after they had trailed 3-1 and 4-2.
But during six minutes of stoppage time, Joe Bryan managed to add a lat twist with a low drive from just outside the box to level the scores and deny the Tigers all three points.
Speaking after the game, Campbell said: “It was an incredible game of football. I don’t think anyone thought the final score would be 5-5 before a ball was kicked.
“Full credit to the lads, we were 4-2 down and it looked like the game was dead and buried. I’m sure most people thought it was but we showed immense spirit and fight to get ourselves back into the game – first at 4-4 and then to take the lead at 5-4.
“It was a massive positive to see everyone dig deep, especially when things weren’t going well. But at the same time, we could have won the game so you’ve got to be a little bit upset as well.
“Overall we had to be happy with going away to a team pushing for the play-offs, but it was a definitely a case of mixed emotions after the game.”
Further mixed emotions were provided by Campbell’s sixth goal of the campaign – his first goal in over four months since netting in the 2-2 draw away at Sheffield Wednesday back in December – although the 30-year-old admitted his strike would’ve meant more had it proved to be the winning goal.
“It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet. I’ve been unlucky at times this season and I’ve been in and out of the team through injuries or whatnot.
“However, that doesn’t bother me the slightest. As long as the team is doing well and winning games – that what matters the most to me.
“Yes, it was nice to get on the scoresheet but it would’ve felt even better had it proved to be the winning goal.”
The point gained at Ashton Gate, along with results elsewhere meant that the Tigers’ Championship status for next season was secured with two games to spare. Although pleased to have ended any fears of relegation, Campbell was quick to stress doing so provided little satisfaction.
“There’s no cause to celebrate,” he added. “When I signed for this club at the start of the season I didn’t think that survival would be a good season. I thought we’d be pushing up there for promotion.
“It’s nice that we’re safe mathematically now. It’s always nice to be safe but we’ve always known that we’ve had more than enough to be in this league.
“We shot ourselves in the foot during that middle part of the season when we put ourselves in a poor position but I never thought we should be down there.
“I never thought we’d go down, even when it looked bleak for us. We’ve got quality players in the squad, it was just a matter of clicking and putting good performances together.
“Hopefully we can build on what we’ve been doing in the last few months. We’re looking forward to the future now and seeing what that brings.”