Manager John Hughes lamented Inverness Caledonian Thistle's continued problems with finishing and defending in the 2-0 defeat by Motherwell.
The Highlanders followed up Sunday's Scottish League Cup final loss on penalties to Aberdeen with their third straight league match without a win.
"The boys passed it really well," Hughes told BBC Scotland.
"We just lacked that cutting edge in the final third and it was a real lapse of concentration to concede two goals."
Inverness were prominent early on and Billy McKay forced a couple of saves from Gunnar Nielsen before Lionel Ainsworth struck Motherwell's opener.
John Sutton soon headed the Steelmen's second and, although Hughes' side pressed hard in the second half, they remain without a goal in March.
"I felt we could've taken something out of it," he reflected.
"I felt Motherwell scored against the run of play, but it was a great finish and a real lapse of concentration on our part.
"Their goalkeeper had two or three great saves. We had a chance in the second half we should've put it in the back of the net.
"We have to be more ruthless in our defending.
"In terms of effort, commitment and passing the ball, I couldn't ask for any more from the boys."
Caley Thistle, who host Partick Thistle on Saturday, remain fifth in the Scottish Premiership, two points behind Dundee United.
Hughes said before kick-off that his side "definitely want that fourth spot" and they have 10 matches left to play, with United nine games away from the end of their league season.
"We need to get back to winning football matches and I've given them that challenge and see, out of the 10 games, how many we can win and see where it takes us," added Hughes.
"I'm hoping I've got the character in that dressing-room to roll the sleeves up and, by hook or by crook, go and win a football match and that starts with Partick on Saturday."