Steve Bruce felt Wigan Athletic 'ran out of juice' after losing 2-1 at home to Aston Villa.
Titus Bramble headed the Latics into a 28th minute lead before Curtis Davies and Gabriel Agbonlahor scored for Villa in the second half.
Bruce believes his team deserved a positive result from a game which was played in atrocious conditions at the JJB Stadium.
"For an hour we've done very, very well, but we sort of ran out of juice slightly towards the back end of the second half," Bruce told Sky Sports.
"Villa got the little breaks that we didn't. We were looking for a second goal and had two or three half opportunities.
"Overall, though, I think we deserved something out of the game."
Though the defeat drops Wigan back into the bottom three, Bruce remains upbeat about the prospects of Premier League survival.
He added: "A month ago when we took over we were in danger of getting adrift and were only two points ahead of Derby.
"We have given ourselves an outstanding chance going into the second half of the season.
"We have played four of the top 10 teams here and we have managed to beat a couple of them, and we should have got something today.
"We are making progress and as long as we keep the spirit good and stay lucky with few injuries, then I think we've got an outstanding chance."