Northampton Town boss Chris Wilder insisted his side were better than the scoreline suggested after his rock-bottom side went down 2-0 to Fleetwood Town.
A double from winger Gareth Evans was enough to seal victory for Graham Alexander's promotion chasing Cod Army.
But Wilder believes there were some good signs in his team's performance despite the Highbury scoreline.
He said: "We've played a powerful team at this level. They've got good players, they paid £150,000 for a lad who is on the bench.
"They've a good squad, a good group.
"But there wasn't a lot in that game, particularly second half. They've had a couple of chances on the break. But we were well in it and we needed to be a touch better in the final third.
"It was a little closer than the scoreline suggested."
And he is hoping Northampton can take heart from the defeat.
He said: "I think their manager will be happy with the result and the goals they've scored. But we've pushed a good side really hard.
"I'll never be happy going into the changing room when we get beat. But for a team around the bottom playing a team around the top we showed good signs.
"We've got to get over this quickly and move on."
Evans got on the end of a Steven Schumacher through ball and showed great composure in the box to fire past Matt Duke midway through the first half
Jamille Matt should have made it two before the break. Jon Parki cut the ball back from the byline and Matt, making his first start since October, headed over from barely a yard.
Northampton rallied after the break and could have levelled when John Marquis carved the Fleetwood defence open but Mark Roberts made a vital block inside the box.
And Fleetwood confirmed their first win for February 11 minutes from time when Parkin chipped the ball in to the back post for Evans to seal victory.
Graham Alexander knows his side could have played better but welcomed a return to winning ways.
He said: "I thought we did OK. It wasn't a champagne performance but it didn't have to be
"We just had to put in a winning performance, which it was. We could have scored another couple of goals, we had a couple of great chances which we didn't take.
"But we got what we deserved.
"There was a nervousness around the whole place but the goal gave us a base and the second relaxed us.
"After that we saw the game out."