MARK HUGHES felt three points slipped from Stoke City's grasp after they had been held to a goalless draw by Cardiff at the Britannia Stadium.
The Potters' boss was pleased with the control his side exerted over the contest but a lack of a cutting edge denied them a second successive home victory.
Substitute Stephen Ireland failed to capitalise on arguably Stoke's best chance late-on, while Hughes' men had appeals for a spot-kick waved away by referee Michael Oliver when Peter Crouch was brought down by Ben Turner.
Hughes told stokecityfc.com: "In my opinion we should have won it. I thought we were the team in control of the game; I was pleased with that aspect of our play because it's important that we're able to control the flow of the game.
"I know we did that but we needed something to drop for us in the box - that was what was missing from our play.
"We had a number of half chances but none that were clear-cut chances that we could have converted. Stephen had a chance at the end where it dropped nicely for him on the edge of the box but he wasn't able to capitalise.
"There were another couple of opportunities where we just skied shots and needed to be better on those occasions.
"I felt we had a decent appeal for a penalty with Turner on Peter because the Cardiff player didn't even look at the ball. I felt that was a good call for a penalty but the referee saw it differently.
"Apart from one attempt that Asmir had to deal with towards the end of the game with a good save I don't think Cardiff really caused us too many problems.
"But we needed a break in the box and the ability to convert chances. That's the hardest part of football and at the moment we're not quite able to do the most important thing on a football field.
"It was important that we played better than the Everton game, which we certainly did and I felt there was a real desire in our play."