Paul Lambert felt his Aston Villa side deserved a point as they went down to a narrow defeat at the hands of West Ham at Upton Park.
Kevin Nolan's controversial close-range strike ensured the home side enjoyed a successful return to life in the Premier League with three points.
Nolan turned a low cross from Ricardo Vaz Te, who was initially flagged off-side only for the assistant referee Simon Long to change his mind.
Villa players complained but referee Mike Dean confirmed the goal and it was enough to give the Hammers a winning start.
The result means Villa have failed to win in their last six away opening day fixtures of the season, since a 1-0 victory at Newcastle in 1999.
The Scot told Sky Sports: "I thought we started the game really well and we kept the ball and played some good football but at the end of the day you have got to try and score and we never managed to do it.
"West Ham got the goal, but there wasn't too much in the game.
"We were trying to get the goal at the death, trying to get the equaliser back, but we have to pick ourselves up now and go again."