Rob Baxter admitted the closing stages of Exeter Chiefs' 22-20 European Champions Cup win over Sale Sharks were agony for him.
The Chiefs made it three wins on the bounce in Pool 2 to edge towards the quarter-finals but the visitors had to absorb late pressure at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday.
Jono Ross' score for the Sharks set up a tense finale and director of rugby Baxter was left in considerable anguish on the touchline.
"The last 10 minutes were the longest 10 minutes of my life," he said after his side failed to score in the second half.
"Sale kept coming and we couldn't relieve any pressure. I thought we tried to close the game out a little bit early and nearly paid the price.
"We had to show some fighting qualities to see them off."
Opposite number Steve Diamond, whose side remain in the hunt for a spot in the next round, paid tribute to his team's effort.
"The lads played really well," he said. "We changed things up in the week with our attack and I think that went well.
"I thought our forwards matched them today and probably edged them towards the end."