Port Vale boss Micky Adams felt his side never got going in their 3-2 defeat against Southend.
Doug Loft scored twice for the Valiants, including a penalty, but they failed to take anything from the game.
"We didn't give ourselves a chance to win the game," Adams said. "We were two goals down very early and I couldn't understand the arrogance of our players. They seemed to think all they had to do was turn up and we all know that will never do.
"We were second best all around the pitch in the first half. Congratulations to Paul (Sturrock) and his team because they played well, but from our viewpoint it just wasn't good enough.
"For whatever reason Southend forwards (Liam) Dickinson and (Neil) Harris scared the life out of all three of our central defenders. I couldn't understand that.
"We did get better in the second half and perhaps deserved a point, but it's a disappointing day for us. We will just have to regroup and get on with it."