Mark Hughes praised his Stoke City side for their battling display against Manchester City but was left to rue missed chances.
The hosts created a number of excellent opportunities during the 0-0 draw and restricted their visitors to few sights of goal, but Kenwyne Jones, Charlie Adam and Jonathan Walters were all guilty of missing the target as they had to settle for a point.
Jones had the best of those chances – his first coming after he had robbed Samir Nasri only to fire at Joe Hart, while he headed a second over the crossbar from an Adam cross.
“I thought in terms of chances created we certainly had the better of those,” Hughes said. “Probably the only thing missing was the ability to convert a chance.
“Overall we’re happy with the performance, if we keep our performances at that level then we’ll have a good season.
“Our performances have improved steadily, and we’ve got to maintain it.”
Manchester City made six changes to their starting line-up and looked disjointed at times, and Hughes believes seeing those changes motivated his side to lift their performances.
“They’ve (Manchester City) got a huge squad and have to use your resources in the right way and get your combinations right,” he added. “That’s the balance you have to make when you’ve got the riches Man City have.
“Maybe they didn’t quite get that right, before the game that probably helped us looking at the teamsheet.”