Derby County head coach Phillip Cocu said his side were second best throughout in their 3-0 loss at Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
Goals from Macauley Bonne, Naby Sarr and Connor Gallagher sent Derby to defeat for the first time since the end of August and brought to an end a run of five games unbeaten.
And Cocu felt it was a bad day at the office.
He told RamsTV: “Charlton deserved to win. They were better that us; more aggressive and created more chances on goal.
“We really couldn’t get into the game. It was 86 minutes until our first really good chance on goal by Mason Bennett and it shows that we didn’t have a good day today.
“It isn’t a good start after the international break and I am disappointed. We missed something that we had before the break. You cannot play like you want to play, always a step too late and miss the creativity in front of the goal.
“It is very disappointing not to continue the good streak and we have to step up on Wednesday when we face Wigan at Pride Park.”
Cocu was surprised by the manner of the loss given he felt a positive mood in the camp running up to the game.
He added: “It sounds strange, but I had a feeling that the week or so before the break were really difficult with what was happening off the pitch and intense, but there was a spark on the pitch.
“This was almost a normal week, we trained well and everyone got back in a good way from the international break. There were no indications whatsoever that we wouldn’t have a good day.”
"The first goal was the most important one because we knew what they wanted with a lot of forward press and direct game play.
“I think we gave this goal away too easily after six minutes and we are chasing the game again. The second was a a set-piece and that’s decisive in the game to go 2-0.
“We have to look back and learn from it, because in this case if you are one step too late in the movement you don’t anticipate then it can be a goal.
“You see that and I think they trained on it because there was the right moment to block on Kelle Roos and he couldn’t come out. There was the block in the middle and one player could come free and the ball arrived exactly at the second post, so this keeps our attention to improve for the set-pieces.”
Derby host Wigan at Pride Park on Wednesday with a 7.45pm start.