Rotherham United manager Steve Evans admitted his Millers side were not at their best after playing out a 0-0 draw at Colchester United.
The Millers missed the chance to go fourth in League One after failing to score for the first time in the calendar year.
Evans said: "I don't think we started the game well and we weren't on the front foot.
"That was just down to individuals I think but we always prepare them properly and they've got no excuses.
"We seemed to lack any fluency, although we had a bit more of it in the second half but lacked that bit of quality we needed.
"We haven't had many games like this before but full credit to Colchester. They set up 4-5-1 at home and that's credit to us.
"I've got a lot of respect for Joe (Dunne) and Mark (Kinsella) and for their chairman, who puts a lot of money in.
"We recognise it's a tough place to come.
"But we also recognise that we can't turn up with 50 minutes gone and expect to then try and win the football match because I've told them in there, a football match has two halves."
Colchester manager Joe Dunne was pleased to see his side end a run of three successive defeats.
He said: "It's a good point. I'm very pleased with the performance because we've got into that 80-minute zone and we've worked on that.
"I said to the players before the game that all I wanted them to do was go out and play as they have in the last few games.
"If that means a positive result then great but I wanted us to put in a performance and compete and I think we've done that against a good team.
"We've stopped the rot, if you like.
"We had to nullify their threats and we went with a team so that we were able to get bodies behind the ball when needed and attackers to get forward.
"At the start it really looked like it was going to pay off and we had great movement but were just shy of the pass in the final third but I think we've fully deserved the point."
Colchester's Sanchez Watt had the ball in the net 10 minutes before the break, only for the effort to be disallowed for Clinton Morrison's foul on Rotherham keeper Adam Collin.
The Millers might have had a penalty in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage-time when U's defender Magnus Okuonghae appeared to shove Kieran Agard inside the area.
Agard volleyed over early in the second half and U's keeper Sam Walker pushed away Alex Revell's low shot.
But Watt's close-range effort crashed against the crossbar after that as the spoils were shared.