Bath head coach Mike Ford pinpointed a lack of composure as the reason for his side’s away loss to Northampton on Saturday.
Two tries from Jeff Williams inside the first quarter had Bath in control and they led 14-0 by half-time at Franklin’s Gardens.
However a resurgence from Saints saw the hosts fight back to ultimately claim a one-point win, thanks to Mike Haywood’s converted try in the 72nd minute.
A 13th loss of the season then for Bath, which is a far cry from the lofty expectations around the club before the start of the campaign after reaching last year’s Premiership final and recruiting shrewdly.
Ford did his best to put a finger on where things have gone wrong for the ambitious club, who will find themselves playing Challenge Cup rugby against next season after missing out on the Champions Cup places.
“We just lost our composure where we wouldn’t have done that last year. It’s an issue and one we’ve got to get right for next season,” Ford said.
“We’ve been competitive all year, but clearly our confidence of winning those small-margin games like today has been tough.
“You can analyse too much and start thinking everything’s wrong. Once we couldn’t make the top six, we took a deep breath and we’ve played some good rugby in the past few weeks.
“It’s difficult to put your finger on it and there are different factors, but I’m confident that this club will be there or thereabouts next year.”