Chris Powell conceded defeat in Charlton's hopes of finishing among the top six after they were beaten 2-0 at Rochdale.
The result stretched the Addicks' run without a win to 11 games as goals either side of the break from Jason Kennedy and Craig Dawson sunk Powell's team.
"Confidence has come back in the last two games, before that it was at a low ebb, and we knew this game was pivotal in terms of the slim chance we had to reach the play offs," Powell said. "But it's not our time this year. We have to finish the season on a high now."
"This result was tough to take because we fashioned a lot of chances on the night, especially in the second half and for their second goal, which killed us, the referee gave a corner when it wasn't a corner.
"These things go against you when you are up against it but I asked the team to give a performance and after the break they did. The first goal was always going to be crucial and it went to Rochdale. It was cruel really because I felt we should be walking away with a point and maybe even three.
"When you're on a run like we're on you have got to take the chances when they come your way - we didn't and we paid for it."
Keith Hill praised his resolute Rochdale side as they collected their fourth successive win, with goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams and on-loan West Brom defender Dawson proving to be the stars of the show..
Hill said: "Charlton are a very good side and with the players they have at their disposal they really should be up in the top four or five places in our league. They created a lot of chances, but part of football is defending and we did that very well.
"We have been quite resolute and you could see in that performance that there is a steeliness about us in wanting to keep clean sheets and defend the indefensible.
"Goals win games but keeping a clean sheet by half time gave us a great foundation to work on. It was a bit cagey at times in the first half and they came at us in the second half and caused us a lot of problems, but we defended really well and looked dangerous ourselves."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms