John Askey was left frustrated and disappointed by Port Vale’s 0-0 draw with Oldham, admitting there was a “lack of quality” from his side.
Vale came into the match having beaten play-off contenders Bradford away from home in midweek but they could not follow it up with victory against the lowly Latics.
Oldham goalkeeper Zeus De La Paz pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the hosts at bay but Vale boss Askey admits his team did not do much to help themselves.
“It’s a frustrating afternoon for us,” he said.
“It’s one of those games where we just couldn’t get going. We huffed and puffed but couldn’t quite get the job done.
“We had some good opportunities where we should have scored but other than that we were in their half a lot without creating much.
“A lot of players looked a bit leggy after what we achieved on Tuesday and I think that affected us.
“I think Oldham were there for the taking today, but for whatever reason we just couldn’t get it together enough.
“Everyone gave their all again and you can’t ask for anymore from them.
“It was just a lack of quality from us.”
Fans have questioned Askey’s system during the season, with the manager favouring a sole central striker in a 4-3-3 formation, rather than two out-and-out forwards.
But Askey believes the traditional 4-4-2 style is outdated and insists his side simply need to perform better to pick up consistent results.
He added: “We went with two strikers for the last 20 minutes and didn’t really create a chance.
“It doesn’t matter what system you use but you need to pass, plenty of movement, and creating chances.
“Whatever system we played today the passing just wasn’t there.
“We’ve got the players who suit us playing 4-3-3, how many sides play 4-4-2 nowadays?”
Dino Maamria’s Oldham have won just once in their last six games – with that victory coming against struggling Walsall.
However, the former Stevenage boss believes they should have been returning from Vale Park with a maximum points haul.
He said: “I’m gutted we haven’t got all three points.
“I thought we were fantastic, we outplayed them in every department.
“I thought we footballed them to death and played around them all afternoon.
“We knew they were going to play long balls forward with the big lads, but I knew they’d do that and we contained it.
“The disappointing thing is we didn’t have that conviction and belief in ourselves in the final third to take advantage of the chances we created.
“But as a defensive unit we worked hard to get a clean sheet.”
Desire Azankpo had a couple of second-half chances to put Oldham ahead but he could not make the most of them, including squandering a great chance late on he blasted over from six yards.
Maamria added: “The disappointing thing was not putting anything away in the final third. The worst was late on when Desire missed at the back post and they’re the big moments.
“We don’t want those moments to cost us, but we’ll learn from it.
“It’s a good point all in all and we’ll get better, we’ve got a young team.”