Ross County manager Malky Mackay struggled to fathom how the Staggies’ pressure did not amount to a breakthrough in their Premiership defeat to Aberdeen.
The Staggies suffered a 1-0 loss against the Dons, who triumphed thanks to Duk’s first-half strike.
County created a number of chances in the first half, but were snuffed out by some impressive last-ditch Dons defending.
Having ended the game with 10 corners to Aberdeen’s two, along with a number of cross balls from open play, Mackay felt his side could have done little more in their efforts to find the net.
Mackay said: “When you end up with the amount of crosses and corners we had, to not score is probably an anomaly.
“The one near the end with Josh Stones – if that’s a yard to the other side it’s a draw.
“When I look at the way we played against a team third in the league, I was really proud of them.”
Jack Baldwin’s loose pass was intercepted by Leighton Clarkson in the build up to Duk’s decisive goal, with Mackay frustrated the error separated the sides.
Mackay was nevertheless pleased with the defensive performance of his side, in containing the threat of Duk and his on-form strike partner Bojan Miovski.
He added: “In the first half, I thought we were terrific overall. We had a couple of half chances, like the one Dylan (Smith) miskicked from five yards.
“If that goes in it changes things.
“We made a mistake in the first half, we gave them possession and we gave them a goal.
“Duk does well in terms of his finish clearly, but it was a poor judgment from us and it was the only chance they got in the first half.
“That was disappointing.
“In the second half, we had to come out and really push for it, so we were going to leave ourselves a little bit open at the back.
“To a man, I think we did well at the back against two hot forwards.”
County remain 11th in the relegation play-off spot, and although they remain a point adrift of Kilmarnock, they are just two ahead of bottom side Dundee United.
United travel to Motherwell on Saturday, with Killie hosting champions Celtic on Sunday.
The Staggies play their final pre-split fixture away to Hearts next weekend, before they will face their bottom-half rivals to determine their survival fate.
Mackay has urged his side to take encouragement from their display against the Dons as they approach the crunch upcoming fixtures.
He added: “On another night we needed just a little more quality in terms of the cross or the movement across.
“I have spoken to the guys – I will show them evidence on Monday.
“It’s OK me saying they have done well, but when I show them evidence that’s when people start to really believe.
“It will show them how much we were really in the game.
“That gives them confidence going into next week, and the five games after that. It’s what we need to keep believing in.
“If we keep putting in performances like that, we are in with a chance.”