Ryan Lowe said his side weren’t good enough with or without the ball in the 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
Preston North End suffered a third successive defeat at The Hawthorns, with Okay Yokuslu scoring either side of half-time to give the Baggies victory.
Both of those goals came after PNE were caught in possession in midfield, while North End had goalkeeper Freddie Woodman to thank for a number of saves to keep the score down.
Ryan told iFollow PNE: “It’s tough to take but they’re a good team, aren’t they?
“We knew that. We were backs against the wall for a little bit.
“I thought when we started playing we looked okay, but ultimately for all the good of them we gifted them two goals.
“The lads are aware of that; they’ve held their hands up for that.
“We knew Fred had to make a few good saves and we knew we were going to be in for a tough evening because they’re in good form.
“They’re a good team, so disappointed because you’re losing, but ultimately we need to do better with and without the ball, and we weren’t quite at it today.”
Following the Boxing Day defeat to Huddersfield Town, the manager spoke about the need for his side to focus on doing the basics right.
However, he didn’t feel that happened enough in Thursday’s loss in the West Midlands.
Ryan said: “My lads and our team, we can’t have two or three or four players that are not quite at it.
“We’ve got to have ten or 11 to win games of football and they’re aware of that.
“We’ve got to believe in what we’re trying to do. We’ve got to believe we can get the ball forward and get chances.
“We can’t just lump it up to Ched [Evans] and let him battle away. I thought we did that a little bit too often the other day and even today.
“When we play, and we’ve seen the way we play, if you’re brave on the ball you can get out and make things happen, and we just weren’t brave to do that tonight.”
You can watch the manager's full interview on iFollow above.