Jim Mallinder admits Saints were close, but not close enough in their defeat to Wasps at Franklin’s Gardens.
Mallinder’s men were beaten 20-15 after squandering a series of chances in both halves.
Saints were dominant throughout, but were hit with two sucker punches, from Jimmy Gopperth and Josh Bassett, as Wasps claimed their fourth win in as many Aviva Premiership matches.
And Mallinder was left to reflect on a lack of cutting edge, with tries from George North and Tom Kessell only enough to earn a losing bonus point.
“Wasps are a side who can score from anywhere and we saw that,” Mallinder said.
“We were really dominant in the first half and we should have scored maybe three or four times.
“We worked hard to get into their third, but we just couldn’t finish it.
“Likewise in the second half, where we got into their 22 and I looked at the screen and saw we had a four on one walk-in if we’d got the ball out.
“I can’t complain about a lack of passion or effort - we worked really hard and we’re disappointed not to win that game.”
Saints have now lost three of their first four games, including both of their matches at the Gardens.
And Mallinder added: “It’s life isn’t? It doesn’t always goes the way you want.
“We had enough possession to win, but we didn’t and we’ve just got to keep going.
“We know we’re a good side.
“We’ve come up against two top teams and come close, but not close enough.
“It’s not a case of working harder, it’s a case of being a little bit more accurate and just those couple of finer points would make a massive difference.”