Dean Smith pulled no punches in his assessment of Aston Villa’s surprise defeat to Burnley, admitting his side weren’t good enough.
Having led 1-0 and 2-1 during the game, Villa conceded twice in just three minutes to fall to a 3-2 defeat at Turf Moor.
Therefore they missed out on the chance to move within three points of fourth place with two games in hand.
Instead, they now sit tenth in the league and have been leapfrogged by Chelsea. The Blues drew 0-0 with Wolves in Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge to earn a point.
And Smith rued a host of missed chances as he discussed the result post-match.
“The game should’ve been over at half time. The chances that we created, they were quality chances,” he told the BBC.
“[Nick Pope] has made some really good saves but the game should’ve been out of sight.
“I’ve just said to the players, it’s very tough to win any game in this league and we have started the season so well but you can’t get three points the way we played tonight.”
Smith added the second half display from his team was particularly disappointing.
Villa dominated the first 45 minutes and led 1-0 at the break. But they were unable to maintain their control after the break and struggled to contain a much more attack-minded Burnley.
Despite recovering from being pegged back in the 52nd minute to retake the lead, they crumbled when the Clarets pushed forward to concede twice in quick succession.
And Smith made no attempt to deflect the blame from his players.
“We didn’t do the basics well enough in the second half,” he said. “They were a bit fortunate with the second goal but no excuses.
“The defending from the set-piece for the first goal wasn’t good enough. Then they just put a hopeful ball into the box and we didn’t defend it well enough.
“With the mentality of these players, I’m disappointed tonight because that’s an opportunity wasted. I don’t take plusses from this game at all. We did enough to get the points, so not happy.”