Remi Garde rued Aston Villa's misfortune as the Premier League's bottom side slipped to a 2-0 home defeat against Tottenham that pushed them closer to relegation.
A Harry Kane double separated the sides, with Villa denied by the woodwork twice late on through Jordan Ayew and Joleon Lescott as Garde's men searched for a way back into the game.
Having been drubbed 4-0 at Manchester City last weekend, the ex-Lyon boss felt he saw signs of improvement from his players – who are eight points adrift at the bottom and nine away from safety.
However, Garde was left to reflect on a familiar feeling of disappointment following a fifth loss on the bounce.
"The result is not positive but for sure the attitude and commitment for the 90 minutes was better than in previous weeks," the Frenchman told BBC Sport.
"It is frustrating but we played a very good side and we knew they would have high motivation.
"I am frustrated for the players because they fought but once again we have been too fragile defensively.
"We hit the post twice and didn't have the luck. But we have to fight against that. It is hard but then it is still mathematically possible [to stay up] so we need to fight.
"The situation is awful and it is massive challenge to win enough games to stay up. But you have to be proud and fight until the last minute."
Villa are back in action with an away game against Swansea City next Saturday.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.