Alex McLeish had no complaints after Birmingham City lost 2-0 at relegation rivals Wigan Athletic.
Birmingham failed to build on last week's impressive 3-1 win over Manchester City as Ryan Taylor struck in each half for the Latics.
The visitors had skipper Damien Johnson sent off in the first half and Blues boss McLeish acknowledged Wigan were the better team at the JJB Stadium.
"We never got anywhere near the level we've shown in recent weeks and to play for such a long time with 10 men was doubly hard," McLeish told Sky Sports.
"The better team won today. They were much stronger than us physically and played well also.
"We didn't show any quality as regards referring back to last week."
Johnson was sent off for a lunge on Kevin Kilbane and McLeish admits that, in the current climate, referee Mike Dean had no choice but to dismiss his captain.
McLeish added: "I think in the current climate the lunge challenge is a challenge that's being outlawed, I'm not saying every referee does it to the letter of the law, but Mike Dean did that today.
"When you lunge in you are definitely in jeopardy of getting a red card. To be fair to Kevin Kilbane, I don't think he was touched and he was right up to his feet.
"The gesture of the lunge in the British game is something referees have never really bothered about unless it was a serious tackle.
"For that, you would need X-ray vision to see if it's going to do any damage, but when you show your studs you are in a wee bit of trouble."
Martin Taylor played his first game for Blues since being sent off by Dean for his infamous tackle on Eduardo in the early stages of the 2-2 draw with Arsenal at the end of February.
With Liam Ridgewell and Franck Queudrue suspended, Taylor was needed by his club and McLeish was content with the centre-half's performance.
The manager continued: "He played in a reserve game on Monday night. I thought that was right to bring him back and I thought he did okay today."