The West Bromwich Albion manager, Tony Mowbray, and his Cardiff counterpart, Dave Jones, were both content with a point from their goalless draw in the Championship on Tuesday from what could be a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final.
Albion remain fourth in the table but moved within three points of leaders Bristol City with a superior goal difference. For City, however, the prospect of the play-offs looks increasingly unlikely. They remain in 12th, five points adrift of sixth-placed Wolves.
Both sides certainly had their chances to win the game at Ninian Park – with Steve Thompson and Gavin Rae coming close for the home side, while Ishmael Miller almost conjured a goal out of nothing for Albion.
Mowbray felt his side would have been worthy winners but conceded a point against a side he regards as good as any in the division was no disgrace. He said: "I thought it was a decent game. Numerically I thought we had a lot more chances than Cardiff had. I think they probably had the best chance of the night – but we'll take that.
"We came here for three points. On the overall balance, I thought we deserved all three. But we'll take 0-0 and move on."
Jones was left to rue injuries to the forward trio of Warren Feeney, Paul Parry and Thompson, who were all forced off the field, substitute Feeney lasting less than nine minutes before he had to be replaced. However, Jones expects the Northern Ireland striker to be the only one who fails to make Sunday's semi-final against Barnsley at Wembley. He said: "If I'm playing a semi-final of the FA Cup I would play with a broken leg. It would take more than that to keep me out, so I would be disappointed if they [Parry and Thompson] weren't ready."
Mowbray has no such injury concerns and already knows his team to face Portsmouth on Saturday. "I think I know my starting line-up," he said. "I generally try and prepare two or three games ahead, and the starting line-up has been pretty secure for a while.
"You do get individuals like Neil Clement who come in and change situations or positions but I think we're pretty sure what we're going to do."Reuse content