Nigel Clough says he was prepared for another "heart-breaking" end to a Burton Albion match at the Pirelli Stadium as his Brewers side and Norwich City laboured to a 0-0 draw.
And once James Maddison and Alex Pritchard were introduced on the 73rd minute, the possibility that Albion could be on the end of yet another reverse reared its head.
"You just worry in that last 10 minutes when Pritchard and Maddison came on that they can just do something," Clough said.
"It would have been heart-breaking, I think, if we would have lost that in the last 10 minutes.
"But it's another game, another 0-0 where that score-line can be frustrating for some people, but I wish we would have drawn the previous eight 0-0 instead of losing them."
Although the match could have gotten away from the Brewers as Norwich finally got their tails up towards the end, it was another game that was there for the taken against an under-par Canaries side.
Tom Naylor, Sean Scannell, Tom Flanagan and Kyle McFadzean all passed up good chances to pull Albion further clear of the relegation zone.
But it was another opportunity missed after Birmingham City, Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers all won on Saturday afternoon - leaving the Brewers in 23rd place and one point from safety.
With the Boxing Day loss to Leeds United still fresh in the memory, Clough continues to rue the missed chances that could define Albion's season.
"We just said to the players afterwards: we should be sitting here on the back of four consecutive wins," Clough added.
"We've just got a great seven points out of 12, but it should be 12 with the quality of the performances.
"But it puts us in good heart going into the New Year and the second half of the season.
"As I say, seven out of the last 12 going back to the Bolton win and the ones before that."
One thing that did please Clough, however, was a first clean sheet at the Pirelli for over nine months.
Remarkably, their last shut-out at home came in March's 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
So if three points weren't to be in the offing, at least the Brewers were able to keep Norwich's front-line quiet.
"It was nice to get the clean sheet for the players," he added.
"We've been close to it a few times.
"We've just conceded some daft goals or made a mistake like against Leeds.
"So it was nice to get that clean sheet."
The ability for Clough to mix his team up was certainly welcome, with John Brayford and Jake Buxton missing out and Kyle McFadzean and Luke Murphy coming back into the team.
With four games in ten games over the festive period and Monday's trip to Sheffield Wednesday looming large, this is where Albion's squad comes into its own.
And the depth helps too, with the quality on the fringes of the team as good as that on the pitch.
"Over the Christmas period with the four games in such a short space of time it definitely comes in useful," Clough continued.
"You see Kyle McFadzean step back in today and was excellent.
"John Brayford, and Jake Buxton have been feeling knocks and niggles and have been struggling on through.
"So we thought it was right to give them a breather.
"And there might be a couple more changes - we'll address the players on Sunday morning and see how they are."