Coach Kevin Muscat blamed poor decision-making for Melbourne Victory's loss to Sydney FC and hasn't given up on catching the A-League leaders.
Sydney made a statement of clear intent on Thursday night by seeing off second-placed Victory in a 2-1 win to sit 11 points clear at the top of the table.
In many pundits' eyes, the Sky Blues are a certainty to win the Premier's Plate with 10 rounds left.
But Muscat saw plenty in his team's display to encourage him - though individual errors are giving him a huge headache after three straight defeats.
"It's our own doing if we were," he said when asked if his side deserved to lose.
"I'm not walking away from tonight terrified whatsoever.
"I will never give up trying to catch [Sydney].
"We haven't been opened up tonight. We haven't been out-passed or outplayed.
"I was really happy with the football we played."
Muscat added he felt his side created more chances than Sydney when they went down to ten men after James Donachie's second-half red card.
"We scored a very, very good goal but it's disappointing at the moment that we're making some decisions defensively that are resulting in goals," he said.
Victory took the lead early through James Troisi but poor marking in the second phase from a corner saw Filip Holosko equalise before half-time, while Sydney's winner came when Bernie Ibini bullocked his way past two defenders.
"We're going to have eliminate these errors that result in goals because they're soft," Muscat said.
"Maybe we could be slightly fresher but it didn't affect the outcome of the game."
Victory face cross-town rivals Melbourne City next in a derby on February 4.