Peter Taylor was encouraged by Gillingham’s performance for an hour against Preston on Tuesday night.
Gills are outside the bottom four in League 1 on goal difference but gave a decent account of themselves against a Preston side expected to challenge for automatic promotion.
They were beaten by Paul Huntington's second-half header.
Boss Taylor said: “For an hour we were very good. I thought it was a very good first half.
“We were unlucky not to score a couple of goals and I think Preston are certainly one of the favourites for automatic promotion, so when you play against opposition like that the way we did for an hour, I was very pleased.
“After that, the last half an hour wasn't so good. Maybe we got a touch tired, I don’t know, maybe we lost a little bit of belief.
“The goal wasn't fantastic. We were under a little bit of pressure but I just felt maybe we should have dealt with it a bit more.”
Gills were made to pay for not taking their chances while on top – and it’s not the first time that’s happened during a run of six games without a win.
Taylor said: “We played well against Notts County and well against Coventry and came away with nothing.
“That’s what happens, that's why you have to get goals when you probably deserve a goal. That’s where you've got to take a chance.
“The only thing I can ever ask the players is to make sure they work extremely hard for each other and have a go at the things we talk about and they did that.
“It’s a hard game for us to play teams like Preston because if you switch off for one second, they've got players who can punish you.”