Steve McClaren praised his “superb” Newcastle United defence but admitted he was disappointed not to come away from Old Trafford with all three points.
Newcastle had to dig deep against Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United side, who dominated the opening 20 minutes and had an early Wayne Rooney goal disallowed for offside.
The visitors grew into the game with Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic hitting the crossbar with a header.
And new signing Florian Thauvin - who came on as a second half sub - could have snatched the win late on but he narrowly failed to connect with Papiss Cisse’s cross.
The goalless draw left Newcastle still searching for their first win of the season but it was a marked improvement on the defeat at Swansea City.
“We knew the first 20 minutes would be theirs but we grew in belief and we should have scored,” said McClaren.
“The defending and discipline was superb but we really could have nicked it - we had the chances but didn’t take them.
“If we had a bit more belief, bit better on the ball and decisions, we should have scored today so we are disappointed in that.”
The Toon boss admitted his side still has a lot of work to do ahead of a busy week with Northampton in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday and Arsenal at home next weekend.
McClaren added: “We’re far from where we want to be and there a lot of areas we need to improve on, but we’ll get better as the weeks go on.”