Graham Westley felt that only a lack of a ruthless streak denied Preston North End a deserved victory against League One leaders Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
After taking a 50th minute lead at Prenton Park through centre-half Paul Huntington, the Lilywhites were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw when Jake Cassidy equalised for Rovers five minutes from time.
Westley thought North End were denied two stonewall penalties in the first half, the first when Stuart Beavon was fouled by keeper Owain Fon Williams, and then when a Beavon header was handled on the line by home skipper James Wallace.
The PNE boss said: “With the two penalty appeals, I told the boys that they couldn’t go through life worrying about injustice.
“It was tough with those two incidents because I thought we had earned the right to a goal.
“If you look at the chances we created in the second half, we could have gone on to win the match convincingly.
“But if you aren’t ruthless enough, you can pay the price, and that is what happened.
“There were plenty of positives to take from the game though, we’ll have gained a lot of confidence from going to the league leaders and dominating the game - we were by far the most convincing side.
“Going forward this season, we’ll learn to show more ruthlessness and add that to our game.
“Let’s face facts, we are along way further forward than we were at the beginning of the season.
“We are a team which is progressing, developing and evolving, I think we are starting to look like a useful side.”
John Welsh’s stoppage-time booking was his fifth of the season, triggering a one-match ban which rules him out of next Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Yeovil Town.
The Somerset side, who lost 3-2 at Deepdale in the league earlier this month, ran out 1-0 winners at Crewe Alexandra at the weekend.