Southampton boss Nigel Adkins rued gifted goals as Reading beat his side 3-1 at St Mary's to dent their promotion hopes.
The Saints created a host of chances but were un-done by a late Adam Le Fondre brace and Jason Roberts' opener, with Rickie Lambert equalising in between.
Adkins' side are now six points above third-placed West Ham, having played a game more, and need seven points from their three remaining matches to secure promotion.
The Southampton boss told Sky Sports 1: "We gifted poor goals away tonight from our point of view.
"Well done to Reading because they've come to our place and they've got three points.
"But from our point of view, we've gifted them three goals denying a cross and then not stopping the shot that's going in so we've got to deal with that.
"But we've passed the ball about, we've created opportunities, a good goal from Rickie Lambert, we've played some great football at St Mary's this season but it's about winning games of football.
"Our principals will never change but it's about, as I say, winning the games of football.
"But what we've got now is three games to go. We remain positive. We've got three games where we're going to be positive in everything we do and strive to win those games."