Dundee United manager Mixu Paatelainen said his players can only blame themselves after they fell to a 1-0 defeat by Partick Thistle at Firhill.
Kris Doolan's ninth goal of the season leaves United trailing Kilmarnock by five points with six games left.
But it could have been so different had United taken one of a glut of chances they created, especially in a dominant first half.
"We created so many chances, enough to win a couple of matches," he said.
"We can only blame ourselves. It was amazing. It was November, December time, back there again.
"Chance after chance and we don't take them and you wonder whether that will come back and cost us - and it did. We simply need to put those chances away.
"In the first half, we should have been out of sight. In the second half, we lost a grip of the game."
Alan Archibald's Thistle go level with Dundee in sixth place, although the Dens Park men hold the advantage with a better goal difference.
Archibald told BBC Scotland: "Dundee United were by far the better team in the first half and we struggled to deal with their energy and their direct style of play.
"I thought the days were gone of needing to have a go at half time, but it wasn't good enough.
"We told the lads the way United would play and to expect that battle and we didn't deal with it.
"They won every second ball. Every respect to them, they're fighting for their lives.
"They caused us problems putting direct balls over the top, and we've got to deal with that better."
The Jags travel to Ross County on Saturday, while Dundee host Hamilton Academical as the battle for a top-six spot reaches the final weekend.
"Our goal at the start of the week was 'can we go to Dingwall with a chance?'" added Archibald.
"We need favours, we know that now with the way the results have went.
"It gives us a good chance up there, we'll take a good crowd, it gives us a fantastic opportunity to get in that top six and we can't wait."