Tony Mowbray struggled to hide his disappointment as Middlesbrough drew 1-1 against high-flying Norwich.
In-form Grant Holt put the Canaries ahead but a deflected Julio Arca effort brought the home side parity.
Boro could have snatched all three points late on as Justin Hoyte hit a post and David Wheater's effort was ruled out for shirt-pulling.
It Boro's second draw in as many outings, as they were held against Leeds on New Year's Day in game they dominated.
"We are disappointed," said Mowbray. "Some people are saying that is two good points against top of the table sides but we feel it could and should have been six points from those two games.
"The way we have played and the fact that we have come away from those games believing we should have won both shows we are more than capable of competing with the top teams in this league.
"It is indicative of where we are as a team right now. I hope people can see the steady improvement in performances since I came here.
"The development in the last six weeks has been encouraging.
"I see it every day in training but it is on the pitch you are judged by supporters. It is about fine margins.
"If we take a few more of our chances or if we can keep it tighter at the back, then we can start to look upwards in the table.
"We have to keep going, keep believing and keep playing the way we are."
Norwich boss Paul Lambert thought his side had earned a good point.
"Boro are a good team on a good run and they made it hard for us today," he said.
"We were maybe fortunate that their goal was ruled out. On another day that may have stood.
"So for us it is a good point and with the teams around us dropping points it could yet turn out to be a pivotal point."
But Lambert admitted his side were jaded after a busy festive fixture programme.
"We've played a lot of football in the last week or so," he explained.
"We've had two tough games in three days and that is hard work. We've got a few players who are running on empty.
"It is frustrating as a manager that you can't get the team on the pitch you would like.
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