Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has conceded the Stoke defeat was a 'costly result' but couldn't fault his players' efforts.
The Riverside club are still languishing in 19th spot after falling victim to a characteristic Rory Delap throw-in which found Ryan Shawcross to head home a last-ditch winner.
Despite good efforts from Tuncay Sanli and Tony McMahon in the first half and Boro dominating possession, Southgate was disappointed with how his side failed to defend the late goal as they paid the price.
"We've stood up to most of what Stoke have thrown at us but one long throw has cost us the game," Southgate told Sky Sports.
"It's irrelevant how much possession we've had or the chances we've had, in the end the statistics are we've lost.
"We are where we are over 30 games because we deserve to be there.
"I feel we've prepared well and done most of what's been asked of them, but that's been the story of our season - we haven't taken the chances that we've had and we haven't been able to see it through at the end, it's a costly result for us."
With Stoke now moving three points clear of the drop zone and Portsmouth claiming a shock win over Everton, Southgate has set his sights on winning at least the last four of his side's remaining eight Premier League games.
"We have to take what comes our way now, with Stoke and Portsmouth winning its significant results but we still have a chance," he said.
"But we can't stop, we've got eight games to go we need to win three, possibly four but you never give up until it's finished.
"That's the task that we have to concentrate on," he added.