Allan Johnston cut a frustrated figure after his Kilmarnock side were ousted from the Scottish League Cup by Championship leaders Hamilton.
Mickael Antoine-Curier scored the only goal of the second-round tie, which leaves the home boss still seeking his first victory since joining the Rugby Park side.
Johnston said: "The goal probably summed it up - we were second-best from the corner and we have to defend better than that; they attacked it well but we can't let people get free headers from a corner.
"Hamilton played better than us in the first half and wanted it more. They won the second balls and the challenges.
"We showed a wee bit of urgency in the second half and started competing and passing the ball which is the most important thing, but for all the good play we had, we didn't have many shots on goal.
"We know we have to improve and start picking up results, because that first-half performance wasn't good enough."
Hamilton player-manager Alex Neil, who came off the bench late in the game, felt his team were worthy winners.
"I thought we were the better side and thought before the game that if we played to our potential, we had a good opportunity of winning," he said.
"We did that and once we got the goal, looked relatively comfortable - I thought we could have hit them on the counter-attack in the second half, and we'd have been worth it.
"We wanted it more and we had quality and determination. Mickael Antoine-Curier got his goal and was a handful all night, and we had good performances all through the team.
"The players have been great; I can put them into a system but it's about them doing it. I expected us to come here and give Kilmarnock a real game, and we're delighted to have won."