Sunderland boss Steve Bruce said that his team were let down by poor individual displays as they lost to Premier League newcomers Norwich.
The Black Cats won their previous fixture 4-0 against Stoke but did not compete until after Leon Barnett and Steve Morison scored for the hosts.
And although Kieran Richardson scored late on to give some hope Bruce said he was disappointed with his big players.
"That was the big thing on the night, we made too many mistakes," he said.
"Big players kept giving the ball away in silly areas and putting us under pressure.
"The resilience was there to make something out of the game, but we needed to score 10-15 minutes earlier than that and then it might have been a different story."
Bruce said he was surprised by the media's "mass hysteria" before the Stoke win, where in some quarters it was deemed that his job was under pressure after the Black Cats failed to win any of their first four Premier League games.
But he said the defeat by Norwich was a result of his players not performing to their normal standards.
"The one thing that we did very well against Stoke was to take care of the ball and certainly at this level if you keep surrendering possession like we did then it is going to be a hard night and that's summed up with the two goals," he told BBC Sport. "We switched off defensively and we got punished.
"On the night we had too many of our players playing below the level that they can set themselves.
"And to win a game in the Premier League you have to have eight or nine playing well like last weekend and tonight we did not have enough unfortunately."
Norwich manager Paul Lambert said his team's first home victory, which lifted his side to ninth in the Premier League table, was down to a fine team performance.
They were hanging on towards the end, especially when substitute James Vaughan went off injured with the Canaries having used all their replacements.
But Lambert was pleased his side delivered back-to-back wins.
"I just think there were big performances from the players," he told BBC Sport. "When we stick together collectively we are a decent side but I thought that individually we were very good.
"Being in the top half is great and I am delighted with the start we have had, the desire, work rate and hunger has been great."
The only sour note was the injury to Vaughan, who also had stitches after being elbowed by West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas just over a fortnight ago.
"His knee is locked, which doesn't look great," added Lambert. "It is a bit of a nightmare for him at the minute with injury after injury, which is a shame, but hopefully it isn't too bad."