Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager Neil Thompson admitted the quality might not have been there but could not fault his struggling side for their commitment in the goalless draw at home to Huddersfield.
It was a Yorkshire derby of few chances at Hillsborough where the two men on the respective benches provided an interesting subplot to on-field events.
Thompson was taking charge of his first game as temporary Owls boss following the sacking of Xisco Munoz, while Huddersfield counterpart Darren Moore was making his first return to Wednesday since leaving in the summer.
With rock-bottom Wednesday having not won in the Championship this season and 19th-placed Huddersfield coming into the match on the back of 4-1 mauling at Birmingham, Thompson admitted the clash was always likely to be “a bit cagey”.
Summing up the game, Thompson said: “Scrappy, a bit frantic. We are on the back of a bad run and they’ve come off the back of a bad result in midweek. It was always going to be tight, a bit cagey. Not a lot of quality possession but a lot of endeavour.
“I thought we had a little spell just before half-time where we got a bit of controlled possession in their half. Maybe we could have done a little bit more with it.
“In the second 45, I thought that we were the team probably that was going to score. It was a game of few chances, but if you’re not going to win it, you’re not going to lose it and we didn’t lose it.
“It’s a pre-requisite that you compete and we did that. That’s what I got from the boys today. They put a lot into the game.
“I think the players have had a right go today. Quality? Yes, that can be better, of course it can, but in terms of them committing themselves to the task in hand, I think they did it.
“You just step into the breach and do the best you can. I’ve been asked to do this game and I’ve done it.”
Huddersfield manager Darren Moore, who guided Wednesday to promotion via the play-offs last season before leaving the club, also admitted the game lacked any real quality.
He said: “I would imagine from a neutral watching the game, it wasn’t a great game to watch. I thought the game would settle down after about 20/25 minutes but it kind of kept up all the way through the game.
“What you got from the game was two teams committed to not giving anyone any space on the pitch to manoeuvre.
“I just thought on the balance of it we shaded it. A couple of chances better than they had. I thought the ‘goal’ in the 90th minute came and then I looked to see the referee signal and he said it was a foul on the keeper. It looked soft at the time.
“I thought we shaded the chances better and certainly off the back of the performance in the week, a clean sheet was really important for us.”
Looking ahead, Moore, who was named Terriers boss last month, said: “I’m looking at the next two weeks as an opportunity to work with the team. The players have been absolutely diamonds – every single one of them – because everything we’ve asked them to do in small pockets, they’ve been doing.
“We have a chance to get some work done on the training ground. When we do get into these threatening areas, where we can be more of a threat and more punishing to the opposition.”