David Ripley says he could not fault the 'phenomenal' effort his Northants bowlers put in during the agonising one-wicket defeat to Derbyshire.
But Ripley was again left to rue a lack of 'killer instinct' with the bat as his side lost out on a dramatic final day at the County Ground.
Northants resumed on 198 for eight but were quickly bowled out for 199, meaning Derbyshire needed 233 to win.
And it went right down to the wire, with Ben Sanderson's brilliant sustained spell in his three for 53 pushing the away side all the way.
It was eventually left to bowler Ravi Rampaul to hit the winning runs off Nathan Buck to ensure Northants suffered defeat for the eighth time in 12 Specsavers County Championship Division Two matches this season.
And head coach Ripley reflected on his side's second innings collapse as they fell from 154 for two to 199 all out.
"We really should have played Derby out of the game last night and been here this morning controlling a declaration and bringing a second new ball into play," Ripley said.
"We had it all in our hands, but the effort that has gone into today has been phenomenal. I'm really proud of the work the bowlers put in and the fielders worked hard.
"On another day, we would have sneaked over the line but unfortunately it wasn't to be.
"It's been that kind of a year where we've been on the wrong end of it.
"We gave it our all and we can't fault the effort today, but the damage was done yesterday evening.
"We scrapped hard in the first innings to get to a score that was just above par (Northants were all out for 255 in their first innings) and we really had the game in our grasp going into the final session yesterday - that's the frustrating thing.
"Again, we've played some good cricket and we're not getting battered and losing session after session.
"We're winning session after session, but not winning many cricket matches.
"I don't want to be down, it was a brilliant game of cricket but we shouldn't have let it get so close.
"It's not the first time we've had to talk about a lack of killer instinct with the bat.
"We don't have enough guys making match-winning contributions and that continues to frustrate us all.
"We talk about it quite a lot but we need to turn talking into actions.
"We've got two games left and we'll keep scrapping for that consistency that we do seem to have with the ball in our hand."