Manager Phillip Cocu was left frustrated as his Derby County side were forced to settle for a replay following a goalless draw against Sky Bet League Two side Northampton Town in the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Friday night.
The two sides will have to do it all over again at Pride Park Stadium next week to determine who makes it through to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup as the Rams could not break down a stubborn Cobblers rearguard.
Chances were and far between but the Rams defended well to ensure they secured a clean sheet and extend their run to seven games unbeaten in all competitions.
“We knew it would be a difficult game, especially in the first 15 minutes with their direct game style, but I think after 20 minutes we got the game under control,” Cocu told RamsTV.
“We did everything to try and get the winner. These key moments can sometimes be the difference in the game.
“We had to change our shape a little bit in our defence because it can be very difficult sometimes in how they play.
"In the first 15 minutes, I was not happy in how we solved it and we did not do exactly how we agreed.
“After that we were better and I think we had control for the rest of the game. We created some opportunities for ourselves but we couldn’t get the goal.”
Cocu was left disappointed that an early challenge on Jack Marriott by Northampton defender Charlie Goode went unpunished.
As Marriott raced through on goal, Goode appeared to pull the striker back but referee Darren England waved play on.
“I think they gave their player the Man of the Match award, but that shouldn’t have happened because it was a clear red card,” he said.
“It is clear, and I saw it back also, so I don’t know what the reason is to why he didn’t give it. It is a key moment in the game.”
The replay adds another game to a busy February schedule for the Rams.
They have seven games during the month including long trips to Swansea City and Bristol City.
Despite this, Cocu does not believe that will cause his side a problem and is looking positively at the situation.
“It is okay, there are some possibilities for players to keep playing,” he commented. “That is what I said after the game; we need the numbers to be a team not only 1-11, but everyone included. Players are coming back from injury so it will help them.
“It will be good to be back at Pride Park. We play well in our home games and we have the ambition to go on in the FA Cup.
“We have to make sure the next game at home we are a little bit better so we can win the game and go on to the next round.”