Notts County manager Chris Kiwomya believes his team is playing well but is just lacking in confidence.
Kiwomya had a third successive league defeat to contemplate after Iain Hume's second-half goal gave high-flying Preston a 1-0 win at Meadow Lane.
Not that the Magpies were without their chances. Celtic loanee Callum McGregor wasted their best opportunity when he fired high and wide when well-placed after the interval.
"It's difficult because we're not on the greatest of runs, and we're not very confident. But I thought we matched them out there," said Kiwomya.
"They were fourth in the table. When we went in at half time you wouldn't have known who was fourth and who was second bottom.
"It's just that one mistake that cost us the game. They did well. We now need to win on Tuesday night against Oldham.
"There were some tackles going in, but we had to stand up against them. We're not the most physical team in the league and I thought we battled them well.
"I could just see a chance coming for us in the second half, but we didn't take our chance and they did.
"We didn't play like a bottom of the table team. Even against Gillingham in midweek, I thought we were miles better than them. We just have to get that confidence back and go on a winning run."