Bristol Rovers boss Paul Trollope admitted that his side's chances of a top-six finish were all but over after they crashed to a 5-1 defeat at home to Southampton.
Jeff Hughes put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot but two goals from Rovers old boy Rickie Lambert and second-half strikes from Morgan Schneiderlin, Adam Lallana and Jason Puncheon completed the rout leaving the Pirates 10 points off the play-off places with only four games remaining.
"While we still have a mathematical chance of making the play-offs, we now need snookers and have to look towards the future," Trollope said.
"Sometimes you have to hold your hand up and admit you were beaten by a better side. We don't have the resources Southampton possess, but that's no excuse for being beaten 5-1 at home."
He added: "We showed plenty of spirit, but were guilty of some poor defending for their third and fourth goals. You can't give quality players the amount of time and space on the ball that we did tonight.
"We know Rickie Lambert's strengths and warned the players not to give away unnecessary free-kicks. The one he scored with was a bit different because it took a horrible bounce to beat Mikkel Andersen."
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