Remi Garde admitted it was “painful” watching his Aston Villa side lose again after they went down 3-2 at home to Watford.
Garde said his team played well and deserved more after Odion Ighalo, Troy Deeney and an Alan Hutton own goal condemned a defeat that leaves the Villans seven points off safety after just 14 games.
Micah Richards hit his first Villa goal to equalise before half time and Jordan Ayew gave the hosts hope with an excellent late strike, but it did little to cheer the Frenchman afterwards.
Garde said: “It was painful for my players to play this game, to have this result, because I think maybe we deserved a better result.
“The way we played this game, I was quite pleased with the way we attacked, the way we played the first half.
“But then we had a lack of efficiency in the offensive box and also in the defensive box.”
Garde conceded that Villa defended poorly for the opening goal, which he described as “difficult to digest” due to his players missing several chances to clear before Ighalo prodded home his eighth Premier League goal of the season, although he declined to apportion blame to individuals.
“When you have to run behind the score all the game, it is very difficult, especially at home,” he said.
“We deserved a point probably in this game, but for that we must be better and we must defend our goal better than we did.”
Garde labelled Hutton’s own goal “silly” and said Villa lost concentration after an eight-minute delay while Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes received treatment including being given oxygen after being caught by Craig Cathcart.