Chris Boyd admitted that Northampton Saints have now left themselves too much to do in the race for a top-four finish in the Premiership after the 22-19 defeat to Exeter Chiefs on Friday night.
The New Zealander said that his side would need to win their remaining fixtures to make the playoffs but they could not overcome table-toppers Exeter on Friday despite Rob Baxter resting a number of star names.
The Chiefs handed Saints their sixth straight loss having battled from 19-14 down to secure a 22-19 success at Franklin's Gardens.
Saints are now six points off of fourth place with Wasps still having a game in hand. When asked whether Northampton's play-off race was over, Boyd said: "I think so.
"Three of the four (Exeter, Bristol and Sale) have always been pretty obvious to me but then there is three or four teams chasing that fourth spot and I think we've probably left ourselves too much work to do now.
"We'll look to find some solutions somewhere else."
"We haven't stopped trying and sometimes you can't buy a trick," Boyd said.
"We made three mistakes that cost us three tries.
"We went in front after half-time and and probably over-managed the game to try to protect the lead.
"I can't fault the effort but when you can't win a trick, you can't win a trick."