A goalless draw between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest meant both sides stayed as they were at the foot of the Championship table with the stalemate due in no small part to ex-England goalkeeper David James.
"I won't say what I called him as we were leaving the field," said Cotterill.
"He has been magnificent today. Marcus Tudgay could easily be walking away with the match ball for scoring a hat-trick.
"We have failed to score again, but not through poor finishing. And there were a lot of positives for us.
"We always looked the side more likely to win the game. We could easily have taken seven points, if not all nine, from our last three games and sooner or later we hope our results start to match our performances."
Home boss McInnes added: ""We defended strongly and on the odd occasion when Forest threatened, David James showed why he has been a top goalkeeper for so many years."