Alex Neil accepted Preston North End were poor in their last-gasp defeat to Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
The game's only goal came in the seventh minute of time added on, Matt Miazga first to react after Declan Rudd had parried a shot.
It was a contest devoid of entertainment, neither side hitting the heights and a 0-0 draw looked odds-on until Miazga struck.
North End manager Neil said: "I think a harder one to take is when you play really well and lose a game, I don't think we played well enough albeit I didn't think we deserved to lose it.
"It was a poor game if I'm being honest and that was as poor as we have moved the ball.
"We didn't build well enough, we didn't look a threat as much as we generally do.
"It was one of those games where the odd chance in the box falling to someone was going to decide the game, it was a case who was going to take the opportunity when it came.
"The one thing which did surprise me with the new manager coming in when I expected them to change personnel but he picked the same team and personnel as they have been playing.
"There wasn't much quality in the game, both teams tried to turn the ball.
"At the end of the game we lost and we have to take that on the chin."
Neil was critical of North End's play in the build-up to Reading's winner.
"One of my biggest disappointments is that 30 seconds to go we had a free-kick outside their box," said Neil.
"The delivery was poor, their goalkeeper puts it up the pitch, we don't get out to the ball quick enough and we concede a corner.
"After it is cleared their lad shoots from about 40 yards and we didn't pick up the second ball.
"When it is a game like it was today, a chance like that is the difference between a draw and losing.
"It will be interesting to see how many times we gave the ball away by just turn overs, losing the ball in possession.
"Our passing was poor and that was generally from key players who normally perform well."