Scotland led against France after Tim Swinson scored their second try three minutes into the second half but that was their final score in a 22-16 RBS 6 Nations loss on Sunday.
Winger Maitland bemoaned unforced turnovers and admits they need to be more careful in possession when Wales visit BT Murrayfield on 25 February.
But he was encouraged by their resistance under intense pressure after the hour mark.
“We knew we didn’t play to our potential and to come so close again was very frustrating,” he said. “It was one that got away from us.
“We like to play, we like to chuck the ball around, everyone knows that, but when you lose the ball, especially against France who go forward really well with their offloading game, it’s always hard to stop. But in the second half, our defence was outstanding to hold them out and not let them score, and that’s something we should be proud of.
“I know the game didn’t really go our way, with our discipline and our turnovers, but there are positives to take.
“They had the momentum in the second half and when the French forwards are offloading, it’s hard to stop, to hold them on our line shows the character of the boys.”
Scotland can still make a major dent on the tournament with two more home games to come following their opening win over Ireland.
Maitland said: “I’m sure the fans are right behind us, they felt the frustration out there with us I’m sure. To get a losing bonus point is a positive and we have a massive, massive game against Wales.
“You have obviously got to learn from these games and the boys will take on board the lessons and get better.”