Nigel Clough believes Burton Albion played better in FA Cup defeat to Birmingham City than in the recent triumph at Sheffield Wednesday - apart from one crucial aspect.
The Brewers dominated for long spells against the Blues but were unable to make the most of their openings.
Lloyd Dyer and Ben Turner both saw efforts cleared off the line, while numerous promising surges on the break ended with shots flying off target or blocked by a Blues defender.
In the end, Albion's profligacy was laid bare when Sam Gallagher decided the game with an emphatic strike in the 57th minute - Birmingham's only shot on target in the entire game.
And while Clough was impressed with his side's football at St Andrew's, he says he could sense what was about to come when they failed to seize the initiative.
"In terms of football and creating chances, that's probably the most we've created away from home all season," he said.
"That (being clinical) is the only difference.
"We played better than we did at Sheffield Wednesday (where the Brewers recorded a 3-0 win on Monday).
"At Sheffield Wednesday, we said after the game that we were clinical, we took our chances.
"Today, we created numerous things, we lost count of how many chances and situations, and didn't take one of them.
"Final ball, final shot, it was wasteful on an afternoon when we should've been out of sight.
"We could sense it was that sort of day.
"It's not inevitable, but when one centre-half, Ben Turner, loses his man, and then Jake Buxton gets done, I think that was one of their two shots in the game, and they've put it away.
"When you're as wasteful as we were in the final third, you get punished."
While Albion produced some eye-catching football on the break against Birmingham, their inability to make it count perhaps highlighted the killer instinct they need to add this January in the final third.
That is something Burton will continue to look for as the transfer window continues, especially with Sean Scannell returning to Huddersfield Town after sustaining a groin injury.
"We keep looking, we keep trying and we keep making calls," added Clough.
"We'll continue to pursue a few names in the coming weeks.
"It's another game where Liam Boyce is sitting behind the dugouts, watching.
"We said to him, 'how many do you think you'd have had today if you'd have played?'
"We've said that to him a few times recently. He'd have certainly got on the scoresheet today."