Gianfranco Zola was left to reflect what might have been after a spirited hour's play was undone by a rampant Chelsea on Saturday.
The West Ham United manager had been delighted to see Scott Parker cap an imperious personal display with a stunning equaliser to Alex's early goal on the half-hour mark - only for the home side to turn on the style after the break and win it 4-1 with two goals from Didier Drogba either side of a Florent Malouda effort.
"It was very good for 65 minutes," said Zola, who had experimented with Mido up front as the lone striker after an impressive week at Chadwell Heath while Carlton Cole had trained just twice as he returns to full fitness following knee troubles.
"As soon as we conceded the second goal, the boys went flat because they had spent so much energy to contain them. Before then we looked OK, we looked good. The second goal really killed us - after that Chelsea took advantage of the space."
Chelsea's victory took them back to the top of the Barclays Premier League ahead of a UEFA Champions League date with Internazionale on Tuesday, an indicator of the size of the task that had always faced the Hammers in Saturday's contest. However, the manager was staying positive ahead of his team's next outing at Arsenal.
Deserving of special praise was midfield maestro Parker, who dominated the centre of the pitch in front of the watching Fabio Capello, even when Chelsea were in the ascendancy. "Scott Parker's goal was a cracker. I keep telling him to shoot more than he does. I am pleased for him. He was fantastic for us and set the tone. Hopefully it will be the first of many."
Zola was also able to give left-back Fabio Daprela a Barclays Premier League debut, while seeing Danny Gabbidon and Kieron Dyer get valuable minutes under their belt. "It is vital that you look to the positives. That doesn't mean that we will turn our backs on the problems.
"We won't do that. As a manager I take a lot of good things. I believe all the team worked very hard and gave everything. If we keep in that way, we will get what we deserve.
"This attitude is going to make the difference when we play other teams. I told the players, I am not going to give up anything. We have another tough match against Arsenal and we won't go there thinking about anything other than trying to get the victory."