Joey Barton was delighted to see his Fleetwood Town side end their losing run on the road at Shrewsbury, where they picked up their first away point since October.
READ MORE Shrewsbury 0 Fleetwood Town 0: Match verdict
Fleetwood’s six-game losing run on their travels in League One started with a 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth, after Town had won 4-0 at Doncaster.
Yesterday’s goalless draw with the Shrews was also Town’s first clean sheet on the road since that Doncaster success.
And Barton was happy to start the year with a blank blueprint after losing 5-2 at home to Portsmouth on Saturday.
After the draw which lifted Town to 11th, Barton said: “Delighted. We are unbeaten away from home in the New Year! It is a nice statistic.
“You could see the pitch, and at this time of year it is not a day for the neat and tidy footballers. It was a scrap and a battle, with two sides competing.
“On the balance of play it is about the right result. For us it was about shoring up the back line after conceding five, though there were circumstances surrounding that.
“I’m delighted for the defence and the keeper to get a clean sheet because the performances warranted that.”
But the Town boss did want to see a more clinical side to his team.
He added: “I felt first half we were miles the better side. It was not an occasion for great football but I felt we dominated the territory. We looked the side more likely to go on and win.
“Credit to Sam (Ricketts, Shrews boss): he made a change at half-time, altered his shape.
“That caused us a couple of issues and forced us a little bit deeper.
“They got a bit of a foothold as you would expect them to.
“They are in front of their fans and you expect them to get a foothold but our response was first class.
“We can be a little more clinical. We had opportunities on the counter-attack but the nice side of it is that we kept that back door firmly closed.
“Cairno (keeper Alex Cairns) has not had that much to do. There were a couple of blocks and good headers without our goalkeeper really being extended.
“It’s disappointing because we were hoping to pick something up on the counter, certainly with Wes (Burns) when he went through and caused a little bit of havoc in the last 10.
“We have got to start building on our very good home form, and sometimes you have to just roll your sleeves up and grind out a result. I think we did that well.”
Neither side tested the keeper. The Shrews had just three efforts on target and Town didn’t seriously threaten until Burns’ 87th-minute effort.
Barton said: “We lacked a little bit of quality but it seemed to be the same for both sides, so you would have to factor in the playing surface. I walked on it before the game and felt it was a little bit soft.
“It held up relatively well but both sides just lacked that little bit of finesse or quality in the delivery. It is why the game has finished 0-0.”