Simon Grayson felt Preston lacked quality in the final third as their promotion hopes were dealt a blow with a 0-0 draw at MK Dons.
On a night where both teams struggled to get to grips with the poor playing surface at stadium:mk, a draw was a fair result in the end.
However, it is one which does neither side any favours as Preston are now seven points adrift of an automatic promotion place while the Dons are six points shy of the play-offs.
Grayson said: "You can't fault the players for their effort and how they were so disciplined in terms of not conceding.
"It was just when we got into that final 20-25-yard area where we didn't have the composure, the quality or the end product that we really needed to break a team down.
"We've created a lot of chances in the last few weeks in games but we've not managed to finish teams off when we've had opportunities.
"We've got some good firepower all over the team - it's just maybe a bit of quality, a little bit of ruthlessness that we're lacking.
"We did everything up until that 25-yard area where it matters and that's the difference with us at the moment where we can't seem to turn the draws into victories.
"The pitch was very difficult but we seemed to get the ball down and play enough times, we just needed to do it in the right areas."