Louis Bell reckons Gosport Borough can take positives from some of the play in the 5-1 defeat to Hereford.
Three new players were making their debuts and Gosport were swept aside in the end.
But Bell still believes the strugglers can get out of relegation trouble.
Leaders Hereford proved too powerful overall as they ran out winners at Edgar Street.
Borough remain bottom of the Southern League premier division, four points adrift of safety.
It was always going to be a difficult afternoon for Borough.
However early in the second half they did manage to peg the home side back to 2-1 with a Rowan Vine strike.
In the end though the title favourites eased to a comfortable win.
Joint caretaker-manager Louis Bell felt he saw enough positives to suggest the great escape can happen.
He said: ‘It is going to be a fight down to the wire with eight games left.
‘We can be pleased with many of the aspects of the Hereford game.
‘Three players were making their debut and they did well, though one had to come off early on.
‘We were competitive again against a big strong well organised side who are not top of the league for nothing.
‘They are full-time and have a big wage bill which we will never be able to compete against.
‘At the start of the second half we went out and gave it a good go.
‘Rowan pulled a goal back with a good strike.
‘Hereford then stepped up a gear and managed to pull away.
‘The disappointing thing was the way we conceded goals again.
‘They were allowed to get some telling crosses in and we failed to deal with them.’
Borough found themselves on the back foot from the start and young goalkeeper Patrick O’Flaherty was soon busy. But the visitors held out at 0-0 until the 31st minute when the hosts broke the deadlock.
Bell was hoping his side could get to the break without any further damage but Hereford added a second before then.
Vine scored after latching onto a cross from newcomer Luca Wrightman.
That was as good as it got for Borough who fell away after that.
‘It is now a question of how quickly we can get the squad to gel with new players coming in,’ added Bell.
‘We do have to become harder to score against.
‘The mentality has got to be tougher.’