Claudio Ranieri was thrilled to see Leicester City keep a second consecutive clean sheet in their 0-0 Premier League draw at Middlesbrough.
A poor encounter on Monday saw champions Leicester extend their run without an away win to 10 top-flight matches this season, although they have now drawn each of their last two.
The point at Boro comes after a 1-0 home win at West Ham on Saturday and Ranieri has been keen to re-focus on a defence-first strategy.
“We came here to look for a minimum of one point,” Ranieri told Sky Sports. “One point is very important to start 2017 well.
“We defended well and showed good spirit. We were solid, strong. It was a normal drawn game.
“We wanted of course to try and do something more but it was difficult because they close every action and our counter-attacks very well.
“Last season our strength was not conceding, being solid and then trying to score ourselves. A second clean sheet in a row for us – it is fantastic that happened. We must continue in this way.”
Aitor Karanka, meanwhile, felt Boro were the better side – a feeling he also had when the two teams drew the reverse fixture 2-2 at the King Power Stadium in November.
The Boro boss said: “We can’t forget that they won the league last season and play in the Champions League so they have an amazing team.
“But once again we were better than them – we were better than them away and here at home.
“I’m pleased with the performance. Again we just need to score goals – we had chances to score and we couldn’t.
“After a tough defeat on Saturday [at Burnley] it was difficult to play home against a direct opponent.
“We have to keep going, we are in a good position and now we change to play the FA Cup which is an important trophy for us.”
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