Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond admits his side are now in a relegation battle following their 24-23 loss at home to Bristol.
The Sharks threw away a 13-point advantage against the basement side on Sunday in what was their fifth Premiership loss in as many games.
Next up for Sale is a fixture against Harlequins at the Stoop on Saturday and while Diamond was upset with the defeat, he also hailed Bristol.
"I think we have to give credit to Bristol for responding every time we got in front of the game with their never-say-die attitude," he told Sale's official website after a result that leaves them just seven points off bottom spot.
"We didn't control the game well at all, we managed to score and play some good rugby but for some reason, we didn't have the confidence to back it up. We let them back in the game twice.
"There are a lot of good sides in the competition and anyone can beat anyone on the day, as it was shown.
"In my opinion we should have controlled the game better in the second half and we didn't, and Bristol took their opportunities. We are in a relegation battle now."