Paul Lambert bemoaned Aston Villa's "lethargic" showing after they surrendered an early lead to lose 4-1 at home to Stoke City on Sunday.
The hosts hit the front in the fifth minute through Christian Benteke, but that was as good as it got for Lambert's charges as they found themselves 3-1 down at the break.
Peter Odemwingie, Peter Crouch and Steven N'Zonzi all found the net before Geoff Cameron added the fourth in the final minute to cap a miserable day for Villa.
It came as a nasty shock to Lambert and the Villa Park faithful, who had witnessed impressive wins over Norwich City and Chelsea in the past two outings, and the Scot felt that the previous week's win over Jose Mourinho's league leaders had taken a lot out of his side.
"Today was going to be a totally different game," he said.
"The euphoria of Chelsea, the game takes care of itself but when you have to beat teams around you it becomes different.
"But that's no excuse, we just never got going. It was unlike us, the whole performance, we looked lethargic and never got going.
"It was just a performance that wasn't like us, the start was great but the goals we lost were really poor.
"We were second best and Stoke deserved to beat us today if I'm honest."
Lambert lost Andreas Weimann and Karim El Ahmadi to injury shortly after the half-hour mark with Villa trailing 2-1, and the manager felt the changes disrupted his team's rhythm.
"The two lads coming off injured probably never helped," he said.
"Andy has a severe dead leg which he couldn't shake off, and Karim we'll have to see, he's got a little strain at the minute.
"It didn't help us because the two lads have been playing really well for us of late and it just upset us a little but that's still no excuse."
|Wilshere out for England with Pickford to face Netherlands|
|Southgate rejects England safety concerns over World Cup|
|Great things come to an end - Ibrahimovic confirms Man Utd departure|
|This is Messi´s team - Sampaoli puts faith in Barcelona superstar|
|Juventus to play in MLS All-Star Game|
|Low confirms Can will miss Spain game|
|Ibrahimovic released by Manchester United|
|Santos not interested in Ronaldo to China links|
|WATCH: Messi scores superb solo strike in Argentina training|
|Koeman names Van Dijk new Netherlands captain|
|Dybala and Icardi´s World Cup hopes doused by Sampaoli|
|I almost s*** myself - Pique on Keane rant|
|UEFA order PSG to close Auteuil stand|
|Brilliant Bale basks in Wales record|
|Neuer needs to play to make Germany´s World Cup squad – Low|
|China 0 Wales 6: Record-breaking Bale leads demolition job in perfect start for Giggs|
|Bale becomes Wales´ record goalscorer with China hat-trick|
|The ´reality for people with a brain´ is Manchester United are in transition, Mourinho claims|
|West Ham ban disruptive fans for life after Burnley chaos|
|Iniesta hints at post-World Cup international retirement|
|All we do is talk s*** - Pique goads Madrid stars over WhatsApp|
|Euro 2016 humiliation helped England, claims Dele Alli|
|Iniesta confident of two more years in Barcelona starting XI|
|Kane probably the best striker in the world - Maguire|
|Wenger told Wilshere he could leave Arsenal|
|If you play for Atletico, you must be committed – Koke responds to Griezmann speculation|
|Giggs: Bale will feature for Wales in China Cup|
|Maradona: Messi doesn´t have to prove himself by winning World Cup|
|Cristiano Ronaldo hasn´t asked to leave Real Madrid amid China links – Perez|
|Manchester United apply for professional women´s team|
|Bolt a fan of Ronaldo, but compares his talent to Messi´s|
|Heynckes definitely leaving at end of season, claims Ze Roberto|
|Shaw issue a distraction from Manchester United´s failures, says Neville|
|Hamsik withdraws from Slovakia squad|
|Griezmann backs Pogba to prove doubters wrong for France|
|Sanchez ´expected something better´ from Manchester United move|
|Javi Martinez in the dark over Spain squad omission|
|Giggs feeling the tension ahead of Wales debut|
|Juventus confirm Alex Sandro thigh injury|
|Hart praises ´loyal guy´ Southgate amid World Cup axe fears|
|I miss Morata, says recalled Costa|
|I can improve even more at Manchester City - Bernardo Silva|
|Neymar will be fit for the World Cup, insists Ronaldo|
|Costa thinks Griezmann will stay at Atletico Madrid|
|Ferdinand worried by England´s World Cup striker options|
|Stam leaves Reading after wretched run|
|Neymar is great, we´ll see if he joins Real Madrid – Asensio|
|Maguire tips ´nightmare´ Vardy to replace injured Kane|
|Malcom ready to leave Bordeaux and chase Bayern ´dream´|
|Asensio insists Zidane was not unfair to him|
|Griezmann wants future resolved before World Cup|
|Nocerino wants Conte return after Italy´s World Cup ´disaster´|
|Iconic 2002 World Cup haircut was media distraction, reveals Ronaldo|
|Wright: Difficult for Liverpool sensation Salah to resist Real Madrid|
|Yaya Toure yet to report for international duty, confirm Ivory Coast|
|Morrison confirms plans to play for Jamaica|
|Germany should be proud to have Sane, says Tah|
|Bertrand out of England friendlies with back injury|
|Young backs Mourinho over Shaw treatment|
|BVBolt? Athletics great scores header while training in Dortmund kit|
|Fekir will look to leave Lyon the right way, says agent|
|Alisson loves Roma and we haven´t discussed Liverpool move, insists agent|
|McTominay: I always wanted to play for Scotland|
|Chiesa vows to honour Astori with Italy displays|
|England´s Pope ready for Heaton challenge amid World Cup race|
|Lautaro Martinez confirms impending Inter move|
|Morata wasn´t happy with Spain snub, admits Alonso|
|Raiola rages over Italy´s Balotelli snub|
|Raiola hopes Reina to Milan hastens Donnarumma exit|
|Former Sevilla coach Berizzo eyeing return after beating cancer|
|Cutrone did not expect whirlwind Milan season and Italy call-up|
|´Happy´ Kepa mulled over Real Madrid move|
|Lucas Vazquez keen on Real Madrid stay|
|Juventus clear Chiellini of serious injury|
|Newcastle charged as youth team allegedly breach advertising regulations|
|I did not betray Roma – Pjanic could not pass up Juventus opportunity|
|Title-chasing Sarri closes on Napoli renewal as he hopes to repay fans|
|Messi and Ronaldo reveal World Cup kits|
|Nara praises Inter project as Icardi talks continue|
|Marseille´s Rami wants to ´tickle´ PSG|
|Salah can push on to Messi´s level - Robertson|
|Iniesta better than last year – Lopetegui|
|Okon quits as Mariners head coach|
|Lopetegui: Morata must earn World Cup spot|
|Ronaldo has asked about China – Scolari|
|Ronaldo: I always show I´m the best|
|Manchester United not in Jorginho talks, says Napoli star´s agent|