The City playmaker opted to 'brush off' the shock 2-1 loss to Damien Duff's side and put it down to a 'really bad 45 minutes' where the home side failed to match Shelbourne's hunger and energy.
"We were in control and it was just a really bad 45 minutes that was unlike us," said McEleney. "You're going to get your setbacks and this is obviously one of them but we just keep going."
Derry's impressive nine match unbeaten run was always going to come to an end at some point but McEleney agrees it's how the team responds to a defeat which truly tests the character of the dressing room.
"We have a game on Monday and you would rather have a quicker turnaround as a player. We'll brush it off. We're three points clear and I think we're ahead of schedule so we'll put it down to a bad 45 minutes."
Jamie McGonigle and Will Patching were both denied by a resolute Shelbourne defence in the second half as Derry pressed to get back into the game and McEleney reckons it was the small margins which cost his side their unbeaten record.
"It might be a case of becoming too comfortable and you switch off for five minutes. Five then becomes 10 and 10 becomes 20 and it's hard to get out of the rut then. But we just need to learn from it and watch it back.
"It's small details which make big problems. We all know as players what happened. We just need to learn from it but the bottom line is we're ahead of schedule."
Shamrock Rovers claimed the scalp of St Pat's at Tallaght to move to within three points of City but McEleney isn't getting carried away about the league table so early in the season.
"It's a long way to go and God knows where we'll be in the next couple of months. We just take it a game at a time.
"If somebody told us we would be three points ahead going into this game you probably wouldn't have believed it so we're in a good position."