Alan Pardew was full of hope for his West Brom side after the away clash with Stoke on Saturday, despite losing 3-1.
West Brom's attacking aggression prompted many to feel that they would equalise at 2-1 down before Stoke killed the game off in the 90th minute to make it 3-1.
Pardew, talking to BBC Sport after the game, said: "The players must find it hard to believe how they haven't got something out of that game because they gave me everything."
Salomon Rondon's goal in the second half gave the visitors the motivation to press on to get the crucial equaliser.
"We got the goal, which we deserved and pushed but couldn't get the equaliser.
"We conceded on the stroke of half time and in the 90th minute and we can't afford to do that."
West Brom went into half-time 2-0 down but Pardew's side provided a stark contrast in the second 45 minutes, as if they were a completely different side.
"It was difficult I thought we had done well in the first half, we were unlucky with the first goal and the second really hurt us so we changed things round a little bit, got some belief in the team a bit, cause that's a blow to any team, especially us and the run we're on.
"But the way they responded was excellent, really good stuff from us today and we really deserved something from the game."
Pardew made three attacking-minded subs in the second half, with Nacer Chadli, Oliver Burke and Jay Rodriguez all coming on to try and help their side bring it back to level terms.
"We did it in a structured way, just trying to find that second goal but we're finding it difficult at the moment.
"We must've had twelve set-plays today and usually we'd score from one of them, but we were unlucky, a couple of deflections went their way. Their goalie's played well for them."
But despite their mammoth efforts to snatch some kind of result, they ended up losing as Ramadan Sobhi's late goal killed the game off in stoppage time.
"We've come away with a defeat, which although damaging to us, is not the end of the world because of the effort and the commitment and the quality that we showed.
"I really feel for the players, they gave me everything today and deserved a lot more than they got."
The result keeps West Brom 19th in the table, ahead of a hectic festive schedule in which points will be a must-have.
"There's till half the season to go and with the record from the first half we'd be in trouble but in the games that I've seen and the quality that we have, we'll be fine and I think we'll get out of it."