Alex McLeish conceded Aston Villa had no-one to blame but themselves after going down 2-1 at home to Bolton.
Bolton scored twice in a minute in the second half to turn the game on its head and dragged Villa right into the relegation dogfight.
Villa are just three points above the drop zone and McLeish admits he could not see the defeat coming after dominating in the first half, but they were made to pay for not making the most of their dominance.
"I couldnt see that coming the way we played in first half," said McLeish. "We were exceptional. We missed a lot of chances and that has plagued us a little bit in recent times.
"We've only got ourselves to blame for not putting the result beyond Bolton.
"We scored the goal, made the breakthrough with a fantastic goal. But for them to go up the pitch and us to give away a soft penalty the way we did is a shame because the fans didn't deserve it.
"I don't think the team, the way they played, deserved it. But if you are soft and don't defend properly then you are going to lose goals like that."
McLeish pointed to the appearance of Kevin Davies from the bench in the second half as proving to be the turning point in the game as his defence struggled to contain the veteran striker.
"Kevin Davies caused them some problems, I thought they were a little bit aggitated by Davies' presence.
"The big fella roughs people up and messes them about and unfortunately caused us to lose concetration for the first goal when Carlos (Cuellar) gave away the penalty.
"We have got to be stronger than that at this level, you have to be stronger as we were penetrated by a Davies flick on and we really can't lose goals as easy as that."
Villa face West Brom next and, despite their predicament, McLeish is confident they can get out of trouble as they still have their fate in their own hands.
"We still have it in our own hands, we have nine points to play for and we simply have got to get ourselves out of this situation we are in at the moment.
"We just have to find the back of the net more regularly and at the same time I am disappointed with the soft goals we conceded."