Bouncing back from the heavy home defeat by Saracens a week earlier, Leicester Tigers led their hosts for most of the game but were denied the four points for victory by a late Bath penalty and Jeremy Staunton’s only missed kick of the match right on full-time.
“It is disappointing mainly because we played pretty well and were probably good enough to win,” said Cockerill.
“We made a few costly mistakes in playing out of our own half at times but we could have won it at the end. Even with the disappointment of the result, I’m pleased that the players stood up and fronted up.
“It hurts to lose after all that effort, but that is life sometimes. We want to be a team of winners but the boys stuck in and there are lots of positives to take out of it.
“There was a lot of determination and bottle today and you have to commend the players for that.”
A Tigers squad weakened by World Cup absentees and a lengthy injury list also lost Scott Hamilton who withdrew with illness during the warm-up, but there was some good news in the return of Geoff Parling for his first start since the Premiership Final win over Saracens in May 2010.
“Geoff has been training very hard and to play a full 80 minutes like that when he hasn’t had a real game for 16 months was outstanding,” said Cockerill.
“The guys stood up and had a go. Ed Slater did well, the back-row unit did really well, the guys off the bench did a good job with that big scrum at the end which put us in a position where we could have won the game.
“Niall Morris did a really good job, Mathew Tait is finding his fitness, there are signs of a squad working really hard and there are lots of positives. But I want us to be winners.”
Tigers return to home ground on Saturday with a match against unbeaten Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins (4.45pm kick-off). Tickets are available now.