Malky Mackay blames 'basic errors' for Cardiff City defeat
Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay blamed "basic errors" as his side's water-tight start to the season unravelled in defeat at Bristol City.
"We gave really poor goals away," said Mackay after losing 4-2 at Ashton Gate.
"I'm absolutely not taking anything away from Bristol's performance but as far as we're concerned we gave away bad ball in poor areas.
"It's certainly not like us. If we give them the ball in poor areas then you're going to get punished by good teams."
Cardiff arrived for the Severnside derby having kept clean sheets in their opening two Championship games.
But errant passing in their own half allowed the hosts to score twice before the break through Stephen Pearson and Martyn Woolford.
Joe Mason's early goal after the break gave Cardiff hope, but Woolford struck for a second time and home debutant Sam Baldock answered Heidar Helguson's reply.
"We just have to stop making basic errors like that," added Mackay. "It's not something that's been regular from my team.
"Defensively we've been tight as a team, but you have days like that when you give away ball between your 18-yard line and the halfway line - poor areas. You expect to be punished and that's what happened."
Mackay gave debuts to forward Tommy Smith and defender Matthew Connolly, both of whom joined from Queens Park Rangers in the week leading up to the match.
They were direct replacement for injured pair Craig Bellamy and Ben Turner, who failed fitness tests on Friday.
"Considering the lack of game time they've had, both of them did well," said Mackay of the newcomers.
"They showed exactly why I bought them. Tommy in the first half got into some great positions and on another day those shots can go in.
"Barring the misplaced pass for the fourth goal, Connolly had an excellent debut."
Two other new recruits, Heidar Helguson and Jordan Mutch, also started, with Etien Velikonja coming off the bench to add to the new-look nature.
A change of formation at half-time contributed to Mackay's tinkering as he searches for the right balance after his summer recruiting.
"That's something we're always striving for but at the same time players have got to play to their normal standard, and the standard I expect them to play to," he said
"We've got players that can play to different systems but it wasn't about systems, it's about making sure you play to your level and to your standard. We didn't have enough [players] that did that."