Paul Cook admitted that Chesterfield were beaten by the better side in Tuesday’s 3-0 Proact Stadium defeat against Swindon Town.
Yaser Kasim and Nathan Byrne scored two goals in four first-half minutes to put The Robins in front at the break.
Substitute Andy Williams then came off the bench to get the third and seal the game.
Cook confessed that he could have moaned about the officials, but was of the belief that his side were beaten by a strong Swindon team.
He said: “I thought it was a good game, but we were beaten fair and square.”
“Tonight I’d love to be able to come on like managers do and criticise officials, our players and everything else, but we played against a good side.
"As a manager and as a club, you have to say that Swindon are the best side we have played by a long way. They were brave in how they played, and they passed the ball in areas of the pitch where you think they can take it off them, but tonight we played a good side.”
Although the scoreline suggests a comfortable victory for Swindon, the Spireites did have chances before Swindon opened the scoring.
Cook said: “We were on top and playing well. We wanted to hurt them in areas of the pitch with Gardner, Clucas and Jimmy Ryan. I felt we got enough of the ball in the right areas, and when it’s not working your way these thing happen. This is what football is all about as you have your highs and lows.”
Despite the Spireites being in the midst of a mini-slump that has seen them drop to eleventh on the table, Cook is full of hope that the players won’t doubt themselves.
He said: “We’re on one of them runs now where we need to remain confident in what we are doing. We’ve got two smashing games coming up for this club, with Yeovil on Saturday and then the cup fixture.
"We’re a fantastic club which wants to go forward with a forward thinking board.”