Pirates were beaten 2-1 by Thanda Zulu Royal at Absa Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Buccaneers were expected to raise their game in order to have a clear chance of closing the gap between them and log leaders Ajax Cape Town and Supersport United.
A league championship triumph will make up for the disappointment of not winning cup competition for almost six seasons.
However, on Saturday in Durban, nothing right went Pirates’ way.
“It was not our day as you saw. Whatever combination we tried to conjure up going forward, the balls did not reach the target. All we have to do is to go back to drawing board and plan ahead,” said Mashaba.
He also attributed the loss to changes made in their line up, notably their backline where they were without keeper Senzo Meyiwa, Lucas Thwala and Innocent Mdledle.
“But I think with time the players that got the chance, will gel and put up a good showing in our next games. I believe we have the character to go all the way to the championship,” added Mashaba.