Radhi Jaïdi admitted slow starts in both halves cost Southampton Under-23s against Bristol City in the Premier League Cup.
Two second-half headers from Shawn McCoulskey earned the visitors all three points, despite a late goal from Thomas O’Connor for Jaïdi’s side.
The former Saints defender felt his side were too slow to getting going in both halves, and in particular the second, with the Robins taking full advantage.
Jaïdi said: “I’m frustrated with the way we started the second half especially.
“Even the first half we started on the back foot, but we came back into the game, we looked to play in the wide areas, but that stopped when we lost the ball quickly in the midfield areas.
“We created some opportunities in the first half and we maybe should have scored, but we didn’t. We were just missing something with the final touch.
“We told them at half time we needed to start the second half positively. We started badly and we didn’t get any momentum and then we conceded the first goal through a set play.
“We told the players they were strong from set plays, but that’s something the boys need to learn from,” he continued.
“They were a motivated team. We had to be more aggressive in the challenges and move the ball quicker than we did.”
Jaïdi named five second-year scholars in his starting line-up, and credited the way in which they kept going until the end, with O’Connor netting a late consolation.
“We started with a young side and the younger boys were desperate to have a positive performance. That didn’t happen here,” he added.
“The credit I can give the players is the last 15 minutes, when we got a goal back, but we gave away two goals and it was too late after that.”