Chris Kiwomya admits the better team won following a poor showing by his Notts County side in the 1-0 home loss to Preston.
The visitors led at half-time through a Haydn Hollis own goal, and North End comfortably held on for the three points against a lacklustre Magpies side who are finding goals increasingly difficult to come by.
"We had a few players missing from injury and it showed," said Kiwomya. "We looked disjointed at times and looked void of ideas in the final third of the pitch.
"The final pass was too often getting cut out or was over-hit and they are sometimes the fine margins where you need to get the run of the ball.
"We had a couple of chances but overall they deserved the win. It's part of my job now to lift the players but it is their job too to lift themselves.
"We just need to look at the next game now and not think about the play-offs."
The defeat leaves the Magpies 11th in the table, nine points behind Yeovil who currently occupy sixth place.