Tony Mowbray was pleased to see the return of some defensive resilience as Middlesbrough ground out a goalless draw at Burnley.
Mowbray's side headed into the contest bearing a grim form sheet of six defeats in their last seven Championship matches and spent the vast majority of the 90 minutes at Turf Moor on the back foot.
Boro remain in the top six and boss Mowbray conceded to adopting a purposefully cautious approach in the midst of an injury-crisis, following consecutive four-goal losses away from home at Ipswich and Crystal Palace.
"From our perspective we've conceded too many goals on the road recently," he said.
"We've got a lot of injuries. I think it was 12 first-team players injured tonight and I don't make any apologies for coming and making sure that we were defensively solid.
"A really hard-working team was picked and a lot of attacking threat was left on the bench to try and make sure we stayed in the game.
"I was pleased that we kept a clean sheet, that we worked extremely hard for each other - it's been a difficult month-and-a-half."
Mustapha Carayol, Curtis Main and fellow replacement Ishmael Miller all had opportunities as Boro belatedly went through the gears and Mowbray reflected on a strategy that almost worked to perfection.
He added: "That was the plan really, to stay in the game and then change it from the bench.
"Carayol, Main and Miller coming on gave us an attacking threat. You might ask 'why didn't you start with that attacking threat' but having started with attacking threats in recent weeks we've found ourselves 2-0 down, chasing games and losing four (goals).
"It was a case of getting the players to get a foothold again, picking up points and looking upwards in the table."