Wolves manager Terry Connor was disappointed but determined to focus on the positives after his rock-bottom side suffered a sixth successive defeat at Stoke.
Wanderers' 2-1 loss at the Britannia Stadium means they remain six points adrift of safety at the foot of the Barclays Premier League table with six games left to play.
The picture looks bleak but Connor was encouraged by the performance, and said: "I am disappointed by the result, but I think we played really well and that we deserved something from the game."
For the third consecutive match, Wolves took the lead - Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic allowing Michael Kightly's lofted 26th-minute pass to drift straight in - only to end up with nothing.
The Potters equalised within 11 minutes thanks to Robert Huth's drive and snatched all three points when Peter Crouch headed in Jermaine Pennant's free-kick just after the hour mark.
Connor, who has accrued only one point from a possible 21 since he replaced Mick McCarthy in February, felt the free-kick should never have been awarded and praised his team for their efforts.
"I know there wasn't a foul committed by Stephen Ward for Stoke's winning goal," he said.
"If you watched the game, you could see that we fought every inch. We were up for it, we played the game and we got beaten due to a dubious free-kick which led to Peter Crouch scoring a good header."
Stoke, meanwhile, are up to 11th having gone beyond the 40-point mark, the tally generally regarded as a guarantee of safety which their boss Tony Pulis had put great emphasis on all season.
"We are just very pleased to get over that 40-point mark," Pulis said. "We are on 41 points now and we are safe. I have to say, it has been a remarkable season."