Cowan’s side went down 3-0 at Chester FC to cap a Christmas period containing little cheer.
The Bucks exited the FA Trophy on penalties at Darlington two weeks ago before losing home and away against play-off chasing Chester.
To compound a miserable fortnight, the Bucks have been moved back into Tier 3 of Covid restrictions, meaning they will play behind closed doors for the foreseeable future, and they also had Lee Vaughan dismissed at the Deva Stadium on Saturday, which put them up against it and incurs a three-game suspension.
Not all of those matters are within the Bucks control, But Cowan felt there was enough in his side’s performance to warrant a less gloomy outlook. He said: “I think we recorded seven chances where we need to score, but the belief was there and it was coming, but then a big moment changes the game and it was an uphill struggle from there.”
That big moment was Vaughan’s dismissal for a crunching challenge on Chester’s Luke Clark, appearing to go over the top of the ball in a 50-50 tackle.
“I don’t want to comment too much on it; it’s a pivotal moment in the game and it’s killed us, really,” Cowan added. “Their management have said it’s got them off the hook. The attitude and application from those on the field, who stayed on the field, was second to none. We were brave, and we looked to get on the ball; Chester struggled to deal with our rotation in midfield, so we did it really well, and I was proud of the lads in that sense.”
The boss acknowledged that some supporters may not see things the same way. He said: “It’s difficult for supporters to comprehend when we’ve lost 3-0. I’m not a good loser. But with the way the lads applied themselves, I think if we’re going to do that in future games then we’re going to be alright.
“It might be a big day for us, in terms of moving forwards, in the sense that it was about us finding out who we were. We have to have a bit more belief in the 18-yard box, and to keep players on the pitch. With a team like Chester, you have to give them credit; they’re a good side, and if you go chasing them, they’re going to make you look foolish.”
A further blow saw Brendon Daniels struggle with a recurrence of a troubling hamstring injury.