Javier Aguirre has revealed his delight at Espanyol's resurgence in 2013.
The Mexican coach was appointed Mauricio Pochettino's successor in November and has since guided the club into 12th place - 12 points clear of the relegation zone.
"I would have cut off my finger had you told me when I took over that we would not be 12 points clear of the relegation zone," he told Football Espana.
"The draw with Real (Sociedad) is fair. Their goals were somewhat fortunate, but they did create more chances. Real are the team who played the better football.
"It is not for nothing that they have lost only the one game in the second-half of the season. Before us were a great team."
Espanyol travel to Osasuna next Sunday as they bid to maintain their rise up the table.