Mark Noble believes West Ham United could not have given any more in Saturday's 3-1 Barclays Premier League defeat by big-spending Manchester City.
The Hammers slipped to their third straight league defeat at the Boleyn Ground courtesy of two goals from Sergio Aguero and an outstanding clincher from David Silva.
Following Aguero's double. West Ham rallied and got back into the game when Ricardo Vaz Te volleyed in with more than half-an-hour to go, but Noble conceded that the Londoners had been beaten by the better side overall.
"We had a good go in the second half," Noble told West Ham TV. "We had a couple of half-chances in the first half, too, where if the ball had dropped or we could have bundled it in, we could have gone ahead.
"They were a couple of great pieces of skill by Aguero. Against those sort of teams you have to ride your luck and they scored a couple of great goals and we got beaten by the better team in the end."
After starting the match in the same 4-6-0 formation that secured a sensational 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur in their previous fixture, the Hammers were forced to go on the offensive when Aguero put City two goals clear six minutes after half-time.
For the next 20 minutes, with the full-backs and wingers pushing on and Ravel Morrison, Kevin Nolan and Mohamed Diame pressuring City's makeshift central defenders, West Ham repeatedly knocked on the door.
However, the ball just wouldn't drop to a home player inside the City penalty area, allowing Silva to settle matters at the end of fine move that also involved Yaya Toure and Aguero.
"Me and Nobby said it on the pitch when they scored their second goal that we were going to push Ravel and Mo up and I think the Gaffer told them to get up and pressure their back four and it seemed to work a little bit better.
"We got a foothold in the game and got a goal and it could have gone either way. As it was, it was a great piece of skill from Aguero and David Silva that finished us off."
In the final analysis, Noble conceded that City's expensively-assembled squad had just had too much, but pointed out that West Ham supporters recognised the effort put in by their team.
"Manchester City did play well but that's what you should expect when you spend £300 million. We didn't embarrass ourselves and the fans could see that because they clapped us off the pitch and we had a good go.
"Sometimes against the top, top teams you need a bit of luck but we never got that and we got beaten by the better team."
Looking forward, West Ham will look to continue their fine away form - one defeat and one goal conceded in four league matches - at Swansea City next Sunday.
There, Noble and company will be eager to erase the memory of last season's 3-0 reverse at the Liberty Stadium, while also seeking to pick up much-needed points as the first quarter of the season draws to a close.
"The thing is, we came off a great result against Spurs and although we lost on Saturday, we can go into the game confident. We've been playing well in all the games this season, apart from Stoke.
"We've given a good account of ourselves otherwise and we'll give it a good go."