Martin Allen said Leyton Orient's late winner was a bitter pill to swallow after an improved performance from his Spireites side.
Chesterfield went down to their third 1-0 defeat on the trot and their fifth consecutive defeat.
Allen enjoyed his side's display, however.
"The performance I thought was one of the best we've had so far this season," he said.
"We were good with the ball, competitive, we played well.
"The last goal we condeded with 12 minutes to go, I suppose we could have defended that better.
"Overall I would say it was a much improved performance.
"I enjoyed watching it, that's for sure."
Chesterfield's major problem at present appears to be taking chances, having caused Orient problems in both halves without finding the net.
"We had some good chances but never managed to take those," said Allen.
"If you don't get the goals when you're on top, against a decent team, then they will eventually strike.
"We had good discipline and good work, so to concede that goal is a hard pill to swallow, when the players have given everything.
"It's not as if we're a million miles away and we're absolutely pants.
"We're not far off of it."
Allen hinted that changes to his squad may be a possibility if players are unable to bring the results they need.
But he's not prepared to discuss potential signings at present.
"I'm not going to go down that route at the moment, I'm not going to talk about that.
"I don't want my mind to waver off into other areas at the moment.
"I've got to help these players, not crucify them.
"The most important thing is to work with these players and help them improve, but if they don't improve then that question comes into it.
"The players are having chances but not taking them.
"We're certainly lacking in certain areas. I think everyone can see we're playing okay, but something needs to change."
Allen, who conceded his side will not finish top of the table this season, believes Orient will be challenging come the end of the campaign.
"We were the better team today.
"But everyone of them works for the team, contribute when they haven't got the ball, they're well drilled, good on set-plays, long throws into the box from both sides.
"Today they got that 1-0 nick and that's why they'll be right up there in that top three, top four next season.
"It's quite clear we're not going to be champions, that was my aim, that's obvious."
Allen picked up a second half booking when referee Simeon Lucas, who raised the ire of both sides throughout the afternoon, interpreted the Chesterfield manager's display of anger as dissent.
But the Town boss says he was remonstrating with his own team, who took a quick free-kick and were then brought back to retake it by the official.
"I wasn't actually having a go at the referee, I was asking why we were taking a quick free-kick so unfortunately the referee made an error on that one.
"I always respect the referee's decision and respect what they have to do."
Allen revealed after the game that Will Evans, a doubt beforehand with a hip injury, had come through unscathed, but Curtis Weston took a knock to his knee.