Oxford United manager Chris Wilder has urged his side to copy the example of Manchester United and learn to grind out results when not playing well.
The U's were beaten 3-2 by Dagenham and Redbridge on Tuesday, and Wilder bemoaned his side's performance.
"It's two steps forward and one step back, we should have got a result," Wilder told BBC Radio Oxford.
"Manchester United don't always play great but they find ways of getting results or winning to keep runs going."
The result leaves Oxford 18th in League Two, and Wilder says his side need to show more consistency if they are to mount a play-off challenge.
"The goals we conceded were awful. Two from comers. I think we defended really badly tonight and didn't start the game well enough," he said.
"We do defend set pieces in training but we've not done that tonight.
"We did not show enough quality on the ball. They are a difficult side to play against, they are dogged and they sniffed a little bit of lack of confidence and they took advantage of that."
Wilder added: "We've played well in the past few games, there are always going to be games when they players are not at their best but they need to find a way to get a result.
"We took another defeat and that is not good enough and we need to go again on Saturday.
"We were always chasing the game and we didn't show enough quality. We are an up and down side, we are not in that good side bracket."