Ralph Hasenhüttl described Southampton's defeat away to West Brom on Monday evening as 'deserved' following a below par first-half display, which saw his side concede twice inside three minutes.
The hosts added to their tally midway through the second period, putting an end to any hope of a Saints resurgence, with the visitors much improved after the break but unable to make any headway.
The manager was particularly critical of the way his side approached their defensive work and said that this will be a key area of focus in the run up to Sunday's Emirates FA Cup outing at Wembley.
"A very bad first half from us," Hasenhüttl reflected, honestly. "Conceding two goals in that way is not really possible.
"I wanted to see a reaction, we spoke about a few issues in the half time and then it looked much better, but only for 25 minutes and then we concede the third goal. That is a killer, the game was gone.
"We had a few chances to score, but finally a deserved defeat to be honest. We've faced a good opponent today and we have to be very self-critical and do it better.
"Maybe I've been a little bit too scared about long balls in behind, that is the reason why we dropped so quick. We changed this in the half time and that's why it was better, but we must be more flexible in the future.
"Lessons? Sure. We have to defend differently. Otherwise we concede far too easily."