Dundee United manager Peter Houston says there are "lots of questions to be answered" following his side's 3-1 defeat to Motherwell.
"We weren't near it," Houston told BBC Scotland. "We played against a good Motherwell side who looked hungrier, sharper and fitter than us.
"Normally I can't accuse my players of not working hard but the team that worked the hardest won the match.
"It was a really, really poor performance. The better team won."
United fell behind when Keith Lasley struck for 'Well in the 14th minute and a poor clearance by goalkeeper Dusan Pernis afforded Michael Higdon the chance to fire the visitors' second.
Garry Kenneth fouled Nicky Law in the box and Higdon stroked home the penalty before Jon Daly's late reply for the hosts.
Houston was disappointed that Danny Swanson did not track a runner for the loss of the first goal and said of Pernis: "He doesn't make a lot of errors.
"Suddenly it's a mountain to climb. Rather going in 1-0 down, we're going in 2-0 down right in the last minute of the half.
"I thought we could have dealt with the ball before Nicky Law was brought down for the penalty kick.
"We can't start games with the tempo that we did. It wasn't good enough.
"It looked as if they were more up for it and that's a sad indictment of our players.
"It's a horrible thing [going into the international break off a defeat] because you always look for a game to get back quickly.
"Unfortunately we're going to have to stew in that but we need to watch that game and show the players exactly where we went wrong."