Vicky Macqueen admitted to a bittersweet feeling following her side's first competitive fixture of the season.
While upbeat about seeing Leicester Tigers Women's in the top flight and an effort-full display from her players, the club's Head of Women's Rugby said it was still disappointing after suffering a 36-19 defeat to Sale Sharks away from home.
"It is about building, absolutely, and there is a lot we can take from today's performance as a group to carry forward," she said.
"There were a lot of opportunities for us out there, that we created, and just didn't convert. We're feeling a little bit of woulda-coulda-shoulda but come away knowing we're in the mix.
"We don't want to lose, ever, not at all. Nobody in this group wants to lose. I'd say we're happy with parts of today's performance but definitely happy with the way the girls kept fighting and the effort we saw from every player who was out there today.
"Now it's about going back to training and working on what we need to do to ensure we improve on this."
Expanding on the positives to take away from the 17-point defeat, Macqueen added: "There was a really dogged tenacity out there and it was great to see."
"They really believe in one another and believe in themselves, which is what we want to see. It is worth a lot to us that they keep doing that."
Tigers were the first to score, just ten minutes into the match, but went behind three tries to one ahead of half-time to trail 19-7 at the break.
Despite the deficit, the visitors refused to shy away from attacking and Macqueen was pleased to see the commitment to the plan.
"We wanted them to play today, express themselves and keep doing those things until the very end," she said.
"There is no regrets in the way we went about it or that that last try from Sale probably took the difference out further than it should have been.
"With all that being said, Sale deserved the victory today and were the better side. Hats off to them, it was a great performance from them in front of a good crowd."
Leicester's matchday squad included seven players making their club debuts, as well as several others making their first appearance at the top level of English women's rugby.
With a need for strengthened on-field understanding of one another, Macqueen said continuing to give opportunities during the Cup would occur.
"You saw today, our bench went on fairly early and we will keep that philosophy going during this competition," said Macqueen.
"It is a young group, such a young group, in terms of the time we have spent playing together and so vital we keep blooding players during the Cup."
However, while very much focused on what is to come, Macqueen said it had been a "reflective week" for her and others involved in the programme.
Looking back on the two-year journey to this point, a dream for so long for so many, the Leicester Tigers Head of Women's Rugby was brimming with pride at - finally - seeing the club's famous colours take to the field in the top-flight of the ladies game.
"I have been quite reflective this week; thinking about how far we've come, the players, staff and wider team of people who have got Leicester Tigers to this point of being in the top tier of women's rugby," she said.
"We have come so far, in such a short period of time, and I could not be prouder of everybody who has contributed from the start to this point."