A 4-0 defeat at Leicester City means the Clarets have fallen to 11th in the table and are now seven points shy of the top six.
Diomansy Kamara put the Foxes ahead before a Paul Gallagher brace and Patrick Van Aanholt’s late goal secured a convincing victory.
Howe said: “They were by far the better team. They scored a good first goal, but we were still in it at half-time.
“But as soon as the second goal went in it was going to be a tough afternoon. Leicester kept the ball very well and it was pretty hard to watch at times. We are now going to have to go on an incredible run to make the play-offs.”
The win puts City within five points of the play-offs with six matches left but the Swede feels they could be closer. Leicester manager Sven Goran Eriksson admitted he was disappointed his players could not reproduce the same sparkling form regularly.
“It was a top-class performance from everyone, including the three subs,” he said. “But we should be playing like this more often, and that makes me angry.”