Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa was at a loss to explain his side's 2-1 home defeat to Wigan Athletic that inflicted 'a very serious wound' to their promotion hopes.
It was all going swimmingly for Leeds in the early stages, when Latics centre-back Cedric Kipre was red-carded for a hugely-contentious handball on the line.
Although Pablo Hernandez hit the post with the penalty, Patrick Bamford opened the scoring three minutes later.
But Gavin Massey levelled just before the break, and put Latics ahead just after the hour mark.
Despite incessant Leeds pressure, Latics could have won by even more, with Reece James hitting the bar with a free kick, before appearing to be tripped in the penaty area - only for Scott Duncan to wave play on.
The result leaves Latics five points clear of the drop zone with three games to play - and Bielsa's Leeds out of the automatic promotion places.
“Any explanation that I could give, would be meaningless," Bielsa said.
“It is not a game that you can analyse, because you have games like this that you have to win.
“The result tells a lot about me and condemns seriously my work.
“You have no explanation that could justify a loss like this, it was a game we had to win and it was a game that we could win and we didn’t win it.
“Everything can happen in football, but today only one thing had to happen and that was that we had to win.
“When you analyse, you describe the game, but I don’t want to do that, because there is no explanation for a loss like this.
"This is a very serious wound in the worst moment and the only relief we can have is to get promoted, what we’ve done so far is not enough.
“I am very sad, but I am full of motivation and I’m ready to work again immediately in these games.”
Leeds have to win all three remaining matches and hope for a slip up from Norwich or Sheffield United.
“This is a very serious result in the worst moment," acknowledged Bielsa.
“The only relief we can get is to get promoted.
"What we've done so far is not enough. It's clear that it’s not enough.
"We need to have more strength. It’s a moment of weakness that was not expected.
“If we don’t get promoted, if we can’t get promoted, it won’t be a season to be remembered.
"That’s not because we have the obligation to get promotion but it’s because we arrived at this moment with all the conditions to get promoted.
“Everything was in our favour. Destiny gave us a hand - a red card for the opponent, a penalty we missed, 15 chances to score.
"There’s no doubt that I bear the responsibility for this moment. I’m very sad but I’m very motivated.”