Manager Mark Cooper says Swindon's Johnstone's Paint Trophy second-round exit at Plymouth should be a wake-up call to his players.
The Robins lost 3-2 at Home Park, having been three goals down at half-time against the League Two club.
And Cooper, whose side are second in League One, said: "It shows the players that if they're not quite right, what happened in the first half happens.
"But when they listen and do things properly, we dominate the game."
He added to BBC Wiltshire: "Hopefully that's reminded the players about that slap in the face I've been talking about."
Lewis Alessandra scored twice in the first-half, either side of Deane Smalley's goal, to leave Swindon trailing at the break.
"I didn't say much at half-time," admitted Cooper. "All I said was 'you've dug yourself into a hole, you better get yourself out of it otherwise you won't be getting a weekend off'."
Michael Smith pulled a goal back from the penalty spot on 72 minutes and Ben Gladwin, on his return from injury, netted the Robins' second.
Gladwin has been absent since August with an ankle problem and speaking about the midfielder's first goal for Swindon, Cooper said: "I've been on to him since he's been at the club. With the power he's got with his feet he should score an awful lot of goals.
"I said before he scored he was taking the safe option too many times.
"He's got great ability and hopefully that can be the start of transferring the training ground work, where he's the best player every day, onto the big pitch."