Arsene Wenger was left to rue what might have been after his Arsenal side were defeated 2-1 by Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday.
Kyle Walker's goal from distance secured three points for the home side, after Aaron Ramsey had cancelled out Rafael van der Vaart's opener.
Following Ramsey's goal, the Gunners enjoyed a period of domination, but failed to net a second and, ultimately, paid the price.
However, Wenger was pleased with the spirit his players displayed at White Hart Lane.
"It is two steps forward and one step back, it is exactly that," said the Arsenal boss.
"Sunday was a game we could have come out of with a point but it [our inconsistent form] is down as well to a lack of confidence.
"We will come back because you could see again that there is a strong spirit in the team. But we have to become a bit more realistic and do our job better in certain situations."
Despite signing German centre-back Per Mertesacker, Arsenal still look fragile in defence - something which has not been helped by the absence of Thomas Vermaelen.
However, Wenger believes the his side are beginning to show some promise defensively, despite another shaky display against Spurs.
“I felt on Sunday that defensively we are becoming stronger," added the Frenchman.
"But we lost the ball from good positions in the final third so we could have done better with our passing.
"Tottenham's second goal made the difference. After that they could sit back and play on the counter-attack. That is why we are guilty because we did not do our job properly, we didn't defend properly on the winning goal."