Exeter coach Rob Baxter believes the Chiefs have only themselves to blame after a home defeat to Gloucester at the weekend.
The Devon side slipped out of the play-off places after a 26-25 defeat to the Cherry & Whites, paying the price for a poor start to the game.
That makes it three defeats on the spin for the Chiefs, who had enjoyed a stunning start to the season.
And Baxter has told his team they will need to bounce back quickly if they are to stay in contention for a play-off spot.
“I’m rarely really frustrated when we lose because normally there’s a really good reason for it,” Baxter told BBC Devon.
“But the truth is we gifted them a lot of points, and at a time when we were wrestling the game back we should have known how to put pressure on them.
“At times it looked like we were running around just playing a game of rugby in the park, and that’s fine to a degree, but only to a degree and not the way we did it.
“There was an opportunity to take points and we’ve blown it.
“I’ve said to the lads it’s no good feeling sorry for yourself. If you want to genuinely be in the top four, then teams are going to play against you like you’re a top four side.
“They’re going to come after you, they’re going to put some of their biggest performances of the season in against you.
“You’ve got to relish that if that’s how you want it to be.”