Exeter boss Paul Tisdale refused to place all the blame on defensive errors after his side's 2-1 home defeat to Bristol Rovers.
Dave Clarkson put the visitors ahead after some sloppy play by Exeter full-back Craig Woodman and, after Jamie Cureton levelled against his former club, Rovers won the game when Eliot Richards' shot slipped through the fingers of goalkeeper Artur Krysiak at his near post.
Tisdale said: "It's a frustrating result given how well we played. The first goal was a mistake and we made another terrible mistake for the second. We can't put all the blame on defenders and goalkeepers, we have had our fair share of opportunities to score goals, but we didn't take them.
"They scored one more than us and that is all that matters. I saw improvement in the team and the way we played and the way we played first half was terrific. I am hard pressed to find a better performance than that in my six years here, but a failure to put chances away will dictate where we are in the league.
"They didn't really earn their goals. You still have to finish them and they deserve credit for that, but I would see them as two mistakes by us that they capitalised on.
"I see an effective team with a very strong togetherness and players that can score goals. I wish we had scored more, but we have substance and I think we will improve. We will experience days like this which will make us stronger."