Uwe Rosler held his hand up and admitted his game-plan did not function in the first half of Fleetwood Town’s goalless home draw with Bury.
Town had scored in all of their previous 22 League One matches this season and had won their last seven at Highbury.
Rosler experimented with a 3-4-3 formation against a Bury side that had lost 12 successive League games, with wing-backs Amari’i Bell and Conor McLaughlin pushed into midfield roles, while David Ball and Chris Long played either side of Aaron Amadi-Holloway up front.
Opting for targetman Amadi-Holloway and a more direct approach had worked in this month’s FA Cup win over Shrewsbury, and Rosler repeated the approach against the Shrews’ fellow relegation fighters Bury.
But Rosler acknowledged the plan did not work and he soon reverted to 3-5-2, and Town controlled the second half after Ash Hunter had replaced Amadi-Holloway as part of a double substitution.
Town’s head coach felt the result was fair and the German was pleased that his side had stretched their unbeaten run to nine games and picked up another clean sheet.
Rosler said: “We weren’t at our best. The game-plan didn’t function in the first half. I take responsibility for that.
“Second half we changed it and the longer the game went on we got on top.
“We could have won it, but they had one or two counter-attacks in the second half and our keeper needed to make a save. In general the response in the second half was positive.
“I will have to look into the game-plan but I learn and we learn together.
“We wanted to pick Aaron. That was the plan. The pitch and the wind did not help us but I am not using that as an excuse because I think technically we were awful.
“We are normally a good passing side, with quick transitions, quick passes and decision making. We were off it but that can happen.
“But when you have an off-day, and you still keep your unbeaten run going and keep a clean sheet, then that is positive.
“We didn’t play enough football on the pitch in the first half. We wanted to play a little bit more direct and that is my responsibility because I went from the impressions we got from the Shrewsbury game.
“We absolutely destroyed them (Shrewsbury) in the second half with more or less that sort of football.