Chris Hughton was in a despondent mood after his reserve side's disappointing FA Premier Reserve League opener at Coventry City.
Two goals in five minutes in the first half from John Aloisi put City in the driving seat at Highfield Road on Tuesday night and the home side sealed a 3-0 win with a third just after the hour. Matthew Etherington missed a good chance when the score was 0-0 and Mark Gower struck the woodwork but apart from those chances there was little to cheer.
Hughton admitted: "It was disappointing because we had a good pre-season but that was our first league game and those are the games that really count. The biggest aspect for me was our defensive naivety, especially in the first half. We left ourselves with a mountain to climb.
"Over the 90 minutes we created as many chances as them but over the 90 minutes, I would have to say they were the better team. Once Mark Gower hit the post I had the feeling it would be one of those games where we would struggle to score and once it went to 3-0, although it was even after that, I couldn't see us coming back.
"There were some positive points though. I thought Alton Thelwell played well at the back and it was nice to see Ciaran Toner return after picking up an injury at the start of pre-season. Basically now we've got to go back to the training ground, work hard and try to bounce back in the next game."
The second string are back in action in a friendly against Bishop's Stortford on Wednesday August 30 before their next FA Premier Reserve League against Wimbledon Reserves on Wednesday September 6.