Russell Slade felt his Leyton Orient side paid the price for a couple of moments of indiscipline during their 3-1 loss at Sheffield United.
The O’s had secured an early advantage when Kevin Lisbie fired in his tenth of the campaign but Lee Williamson ensured the hosts were level at the break.
Michael Doyle put the Blades in front early on in the second period after Solomon Taiwo had been caught in possession before Ryan Dickson was dismissed for the second time in his Orient career following a strong tackle on Williamson.
And Ched Evans completed the scoring late on as the O’s were left to reflect on a fifth straight defeat.
“There are two things you have got to do when you are on the run that we are on and want to get out of the trouble that we are in,” explained Slade. “You change your personnel or you change the way you tackle the next game in terms of your shape or system and that is exactly what we did.
“We came to make it difficult. We weren’t going to roll over and make life easy for them. And not only that, we could have got a second goal in that first period.
“We got a great opener and we could have got a second goal which could have made it a really difficult afternoon for Sheffield. But fair play to them, they keep plugging away, they don’t deviate from what they are trying to do. They are effective in what they do and of course they have got the goalscorers to back it up.”
On Dickson’s red card, the manager added: “I thought it was a ridiculous decision by my player. I shan’t be defending the sending off.
“I felt a little bit let down by that one. And also the second goal where we have given the ball away in a position where we shouldn’t have given it away. That was deviating from our gameplan and that was the difference.”