Sam Ricketts highlighted the endeavour of his Shrewsbury players following the 0-0 draw with Burton Albion.
Ricketts believes his side, including a number of summer signings, are “getting there” after standing firm to register a third clean sheet in five League One matches this season in a game of few chances on a sweltering Shropshire afternoon.
“I think we’re getting there slowly but surely,” said boss Ricketts. “We’re fighting an awful lot of outside things in injuries and getting people up to speed.
“But I think what we saw again today was players who gave absolutely everything to make sure we came out of the game with another clean sheet, which means the worst you’re getting is a point.
“We still had chances. I thought for the first 20, 30 minutes we were the better team. We just couldn’t convert chances, half chances.
“We had decent territory without being really, really good with the ball and then, not making excuses, I think the heat killed us in terms of energy levels and we started being sloppy in possession
“We gave the ball away seven, eight times towards the end of the first half, which just meant we had to defend.”
Josh Laurent, returning from injury, forced a save from Burton goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara in the first half before skipper Dave Edwards fired off target just after the break for the hosts.
Lucas Akins headed Burton’s best chance from a corner wide midway through the second half.
Ricketts, whose side travel to Ipswich next weekend, added: “There was little things we need to keep improving and keep trying to get better at, and then we can turn games likes today into victories.
“That’s three clean sheets out of five, eight points from the first five, which is a good start. If we’d been able to win today, it would have been 10. It would have been a great start.
“But we’re getting there. We’re seeing really good signs and we’re slowly getting there.”
Burton manager Nigel Clough felt the heat contributed to the game.
He said: “It was just the conditions dictated what sort of game it was compared to most League One games – it was absolutely roasting.
“It’s the same players as it’s been for us and Shrewsbury, and we’ve been Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday so far this season, so I think it’s understandable.”
Clough, whose side have taken seven points from nine on their League One travels this season, added: “I thought we got going a bit better second half, created a few chances and half chances.
“Kieran O’Hara’s had one shot (to save), I think,in the whole game, so I thought we controlled it pretty well.
“But in these conditions it was just difficult to get that extra bit of spark or something just to win the game.”