Huddersfield Town manager Chris Powell admitted his side lacked urgency as the Terriers exited the FA Cup in round three after a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Championship rivals Reading.
The Terriers, who had Jonathan Hogg sent off late on, failed to post a single shot on target during the 90 minutes as the Royals comfortably saw out the contest after substitute Nick Blackman had handed the visitors the lead midway through the second period.
And Powell sympathised with the fans' frustrations at full time by citing a lack of intensity as the reason for his side's poor opening to 2015.
"We didn’t perform at all; we were very flat," the manager said.
"I know these sort of games can be difficult, but we were more or less at our strongest barring Jacob Butterfield and Sean Scannell.
"I felt we had the opportunity to start without those two and stay strong and resolute. However, we never really got going; we needed more urgency.
"It was one of those days. I think both sides kind of cancelled each other out.
"The only real bit of quality and movement in the entire 94 minutes came from them. It never happened from the first minute despite a few fleeting moments."
The cup setback evoked memories of Town's recent 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City, another laborious home display which yielded no points and no goals.
And the Terriers boss could understand the comparison between the two matches as Town failed to click in attack.
"It was similar to the Birmingham defeat," he said.
"When we have been at our best – like against Bolton, Nottingham Forest and Brentford at home – we start and stay on the front foot and manage situations really well. That’s the template.
"Regardless of the formation, that’s how we have to play. When we don’t have that, we struggle.
"I wanted it to happen for us today. If you make lots of changes it looks like you’re not taking the game seriously and I wanted to keep the back five, including Alex (Smithies), intact to maintain some continuity and togetherness after our sterling performance against Bolton.
"We were well supported – our fans were here – and they, along with everyone else, deserved more from the day."
There had been plenty of calls from fans to field James Vaughan and Nahki Wells as a twin strikeforce but it served as one of several reasons for Town's flat attacking display against the Royals.
"People have been clamouring for (James) Vaughan and (Nahki) Wells to start," he added.
"This was an opportunity to get that front two on the pitch and work on things, but obviously things didn’t work well today; if it did, they would get into goal-scoring positions and – more importantly – would get the service.
"It was tough for them, as Reading played a bit deeper and didn’t give much room to either striker.
“Our approach play into them wasn’t to our usual standard, which people might say was due to Jacob (Butterfield) and Sean Scannell’s absence on the pitch.
"However, I had a good enough 11 out there to get something, that’s for sure."