Marcus Bignot accepted Chester FC let 'themselves down' in their dreadful 4-0 home defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge.
But the Blues boss insisted the second-half capitulation that saw his side concede four shocking goals will be a 'blip'.
Bignot had admitted before the live BT Sport encounter that Chester's battle for survival would go down to the wire .
But his belief that they are improving was undermined by a 45 minutes of football that was as bad as anything produced in Jon McCarthy's final nine months in the job.
Bignot, who took over from the sacked McCarthy in September , pointed to the fact that the game may have been one too far for the injury-hit Blues.
But that will have come as no comfort to the Deva faithful who, going into a crucial run of fixtures, which kicks-off with a home clash against basement boys Solihull Moors on December 9, were left seriously short-changed.
Here's what Marcus Bignot had to say on the match
"You can't forget the first 45 minutes we put in. I was really pleased with that and we went into the second half full of confidence. But the second half was 45 minutes too far for us physically and mentally.
"I thought we had our moment of luck when they missed the penalty. But then we shot ourselves in the foot and from then on in you could see physically and mentally the confidence drained out of them. For 45 minutes it was physically and mentally too far for us after a demanding week.
"It's a trait which has reared its ugly head. It hasn't reared its head many times since we've been here. I think that's twice now it's happened, since we came in, when we've seen the group lose confidence.
"It's been a challenging week. We've had the performances, and been so close to getting the results and, going into the second half, it seemed it would go that away again, in terms of the performance, and whether we were going to get a point or three points. So no-one saw that (second half) coming.
"I'm not making excuses because there is a manner in which you lose and they've let themselves down in the second half. They reverted to a type. That's the reason I'm here; because of a second 45 minutes like that. It has to be a blip; it cannot be a common theme.
"And I would suggest it was a blip, in terms of our time here, because we've always bounced back. We've not lost back-to-back league games, so it's important against Solihull Moors that we bounce back and not lose, and more importantly for the confidence of the group, that we get a much-needed three points."