WASPS director of rugby Dai Young believe his side simply lost to the better team after tasting a 26-21 defeat to new rivals Leicester Tigers.
A record attendance of 32,019 for a Premiership match watched as Wasps came up short against a determined Tigers side who were forced to play much of the match when 14 men after the dismissal of Seramaia Bai.
The hosts trailed 18-12 at the break, but could not make the most of their numerical advantage in the second half.
“Obviously we’re disappointed but, as I said to the players, you’ve got to take it on the chin.
“The best team won. You’ve got to give Leicester credit where credit is due. I thought the first half, even before the sending off, we really struggled to control the power they had on us.
“I think the difference between a top four team and a team that’s trying to get there was really evident. I think if you look at the stats, they turned the ball around three times, we turned it over 15 times. That’s the difference at the real sharp end.
“Leicester were very streetwise but you’ve got to give them credit. They did a real job at the contact area, they were really physical there. They stopped us from getting any quick ball and they did a job on our big carriers.”
The defeat ended any hopes of a top four finish but Young reiterated his determination to finish inside the top six to qualify for Europe once again.
He added: “We’re disappointed because we don’t feel that we played to the best of our ability, but we’ve got to move on.
“The top six has always been our target. Obviously we’ve missed out on the top four. I think I’ve repeated myself a number of times this season, I don’t think we’re quite a top four team yet. I think that has been the clear message from me all season, but we need to make sure we get that result next week and secure top six.
“If you look at some of the big games we’ve lost against Saracens, Northampton, Toulon, Leinster, we’ve been in these games but we haven’t been quite accurate enough or streetwise enough but it’s a learning process.
“We’ve certainly moved forward and we’re a much better team this season than we were last season, but there are still a few rungs on the ladder for us to improve on. Our accuracy needs to improve and we need to be more clinical.”