Southampton boss Nigel Adkins refused to look for excuses as his table-toppers were beaten 1-0 by basement club Doncaster.
The Championship leaders were without top scorer Rickie Lambert and lacked their customary cutting edge on this occasion.
Billy Sharp notched his seventh goal of the campaign on the hour mark to give the Yorkshire club a morale-boosting win.
Adkins was full of humility in defeat and would not except their loss was down to Lambert's injury.
"Everyone has injuries from time to time and you have to cope with them," said Adkins.
"You can't afford to rely on one player but we are not going to hide from the result.
"The top team is expected to beat the bottom and it didn't happen - but that's football.
"We prepared properly for the game and showed Doncaster the utmost respect so it wasn't a case of being complacent.
"But we gave a goal away through a lapse of concentration and it gave them something to hang on to, which they did.
"In fairness to Doncaster they worked hard and had a spirit about them but we need to improve our away form if we want to stay at the top."
Rovers boss Dean Saunders, whose side are no longer 24th in the table, said: "That's been coming for some time and I thought we deserved it.
"We had a lot of players missing through injury but those who did play today did brilliant and hopefully we can climb the table now.
"We've been giving Sunday League goals away in some games but that didn't happen today and the players are learning all the time.
"There were some excellent performances all round today and we are starting to get used to each other and gel together.
"Very few people will have given us a chance of winning that game but I have confidence in the players that they can beat any team in the division."