Jim Mallinder admitted his frustration after Saints missed the chance to win at Castres.
But the director of rugby was pleased his men at least picked up a losing bonus point in the 19-13 Heineken Cup defeat at Stade Pierre-Antoine.
Saints had the possession and territory to claim victory on their travels, but Romain Martial’s seventh-minute try and 14 points from Rory Kockott won it for Castres.
Skipper Dylan Hartley’s opportunistic second-half score and eight points from the boot of Stephen Myler at least provided some consolation.
But Mallinder knows Saints must now make sure they take their chances when Ospreys come calling at Franklin’s Gardens next Sunday.
“It was always going to be a bit of a scrap out here. It’s the way they play,” he said. “They’re a good side, big, chunky pack and they get bossed around well by (Rory) Kockott.
“That’s what happened today. We came with some intentions of playing some rugby and it sort of backfired on us a little bit in that first few minutes, with that interception (Luther Burrell’s misplaced pass to Martial).
“But we came back into the game and had our chances. If we’d taken those we could have been smiling with a win.
“We’re frustrated that we couldn’t get a win, but it is a point and we’re still in the competition.
“There’s six games in this competition and what you must do is win your home games so it makes next week’s game against Ospreys essential that we win.”