Fleetwood Town boss Uwe Rosler hailed his side’s battling qualities despite their last-gasp defeat at League One leaders Shrewsbury Town.
His side conceded yet again from a corner as Aristote Nsiala rose above Devante Cole and Nathan Pond to nod Shaun Whalley’s set piece over Jordy Hiwula in the 89th minute.
Fleetwood had put in a determined performance but Paul Hurst’s pacesetters made it 15 games unbeaten.
Rosler’s side did not muster a shot on target but he says there are plenty of positives to take.
He said: “We played against the team that are the only team unbeaten in the whole of the Football League.
“We did not go there to blow them away; they did not deserve to win, we did not deserve to win.
“For a team like us that was a strong performance.
“Yes we can do better on the counter, yes we can create more but, unfortunately, we did not get the reward for the dogged display we had.
“There were a lot of positive things; mentality, determination, grit and I wish that my players would have been rewarded for that.”
Rosler’s side slipped out of the top 10 as he made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Scunthorpe United in midweek.
Midfielder George Glendon was left out of the squad, defender Cian Bolger was suspended, while Hiwula and Bobby Grant were both dropped to the bench.
Aiden O’Neill and Markus Schwabl were favoured in the midfield due to their physicality, Baily Cargill replaced Bolger, while Conor McAleny made his first league start since hobbling off with an ankle injury in the second game of the season at Northampton Town.
Rosler said: “George Glendon had, in my opinion, a good game (at Scunthorpe).
“I did not expect that game for George, he was not even in the squad but he might start against Oxford; you never know.
“There are some hard calls but it is not about dropping people to punish them.
“I just dropped people on Saturday for tactical reasons and the tactics were spot on.
“Baily Cargill got tested a lot, especially after being on a yellow early on; I would have done the same thing again, I think he had a good performance.
“Aiden O’Neill gave us energy and I think it worked; unfortunately we could not defend a corner again.”
Rosler also maintained that Bolger’s unavailability was not the reason for Town’s defeat.
There was praise for his players, although he added that his substitutes did not provide their usual counter-attacking threat;.
He said: “It is not about one player, we need to have a strong enough squad to deal with any suspensions or injuries.
“That is not why we lost in the 89th minute – by not winning a header.
“I think we had one or two counter-attacks; the players I brought on did not really give us that momentum to turn defence into attack like we normally do.
“We should deal better with the ball in the box, that is the bottom line.
“We deserved something out of the game.”