Kevin Nolan has stressed that Notts County will not be able to "run riot over teams week in, week out" at Meadow Lane after Grimsby Town held the hosts to a goalless draw at the weekend.
In a game of few genuine chances, the Magpies failed to muster a single shot on target against a Mariners side that defended well and had the best chance of the encounter through Jamille Matt.
The result sees Notts still in second, four points ahead of third-placed Exeter City, but with Luton winning 2-0 at Forest Green Rovers, the gap between first and second is now two points.
It was also the first time that Nolan's side have failed to score since the 2-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra in October.
"We respect the point and the clean sheet, which I'm delighted about," he told the Nottingham Post. "We looked good defensively. We gave them an opportunity in the first half but we looked in control.
"Grimsby came here on the back of three wins so we had to show them the respect they deserved. You're not going to run riot over teams week in, week out when you're at home - we have to earn it.
"The lads did all the right things out of possession but in possession we weren't as good as we have been lately.
"It told because we weren't able to mount that pressure on them and show our quality in the final third."