Gary Megson blamed a poor start to the second half for Bolton's 4-3 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
The away side conceded three goals in 15 minutes to slip to a four-goal deficit against Chelsea before scoring three of their own to almost snatch a point.
Megson says that his side performed well before the break, but were made to regret not testing goalkeeper Petr Cech enough when Michael Ballack gave Chelsea the lead.
"I felt for the first 25 minutes of the game we were doing fine without causing a huge amount of problems for Chelsea," he told Sky Sports.
"We actually had more attempts at goal then they did in the first half but we didn't hit the target or work Petr Cech enough.
"The first goal we gave away was a really poor goal from our point of view, it was way too easy.
"At the beginning of the second half we just fell apart for 10, 15 minutes and it was looking like a cakewalk."
The Bolton manager credited Chris Basham, who came off the bench to score the Trotters' second goal, with sparking their incredible comeback that fell just short.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Frank Lampard's pass struck the arm of Gretar Steinsson. At the time it was not expected to be a decision that would have such an important bearing on the outcome of the game.
However, it turned out to be highly controversial. Megson believes that the decision was inevitable given the referee and location of the match.
"I think it is one of those that, if the referee doesn't give it, you could say: 'He is trying to pull his arm out of the way' but if he does: 'It did hit his arm'.
"That's three handballs he's (Peter Walton) given as penalties against us this season and one wasn't even in the box.
"You'll hear people talk about: 'Some of those you get and some you don't' but there's absolutely no chance of us getting the benefit of the doubt away at Chelsea with Peter refereeing the game."
After today's loss, the Trotters are 12th in the Premier League table, seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Although he admits safety is not yet assured, Megson is confident his side can secure their survival in the coming games.
He said: "We're a lot safer than most. We don't accept that we're safe and for most people there is a realisation that 37 (points) won't be enough but we've got six games to go.
"It's a really big ask but if we played every game like we played the last 25 minutes of today we'll get the results that we need without a shadow of a doubt."