Nicholl took over dug-out duties while Shiels sat out the first of his four-game ban for comments made about fourth official Andrew Dallas.
And he said: "It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. But then a clean sheet and a point away from home is something to build on.
"The manager's standards are so high when it comes to passing. He wants us to get the Spanish lad Borja Perez on the ball for us to create things for Paul Heffernan. He wants that happening all the time but it can be a fine line. It doesn't happen all the time.
"They have always got to try and reach those standards. We're not asking them to do anything they can't do. They are capable of producing this standard of football.
"But the opposition are out there trying to stop you from doing it, so you have to give them credit as well."