WREXHAM manager Denis Smith was in no mood to apologise for the tactics he employed at the Racecourse on Saturday, more in a bid to climb out of the second division's bottom four than to put a dent in Bristol City's promotion challenge.
The Dragons' boss sacrificed two wingers to pack his midfield and deny the visitors space and claimed that things had gone exactly to plan before his side's defensive frailties were again exposed.
"You are going to get games like that, where you have to grind out results. The problem with Wrexham is that all the players want excitement and flourish, which is great, but you've got to be winning games," he said.
"What we were doing today is grinding out a result against a very good team at the top of the league and then we've thrown a goal in which has changed it. All at once, we let in a silly second one because two midfield players have gone for the same ball.
"It was always going to be a tight game. I expected that, and we're talking about goals changing games again," he added. "We've let a soft first goal in, which I've now discovered was an own goal.
"They were all expecting the 'keeper to come and get it when it bounced in the six-yard area, as he should do. I asked Steve Roberts how the man he was marking got past. He said he didn't, the ball hit Steve and went in."
Smith admitted that the match was not much of a spectacle for supporters but insisted the game plan was what was required.
"It was always going to be hard because they are a good side and we planned to stop them playing and we did that," he said.
"It also stopped us a bit at times but there are a lot of games like that where people are fencing with each other and trying to find holes. Basically, we didn't open ourselves up, we kept it tight and they didn't have a shot in the opening half.
"That was okay and I felt we'd get a break and then you are looking for a bit of magic from the likes of Lee Trundle. We didn't get that; instead we got a bad goal against.
"Whether it was a free kick or not, it bounced inside the six-yard box and should have been dealt with before it bounced. The 'keeper should have come and taken it.
"I'm not particularly happy and while we are not going to dominate games throughout, particularly against teams at the top of the league because we are not good enough, we shot ourselves in the foot."
Smith confessed to some concern at Wrexham's inability to create chances, and bemoaned an offside decision that curtailed any prospect of a recovery.
"Systems in the end are variations on a theme," he added. "There were certain aspects I was not happy with and when we gave them a goal start we went flat again.
"We had looked solid and if it had stayed 0-0 a bit longer I would have brought on the wide players and, hopefully, we could have played some pretty stuff. But we've got to score goals if we are going to win games. Look at Manchester United; you can get in the habit of losing and it's difficult to get out of it.
"I'd like to see Michael Blackwood's 'goal' because he didn't look offside from where I was; the luck is not going with us but having said that, you make your own."