David Wagner has admitted that Huddersfield's poor first-half performance against Southampton on Saturday proved to be the Terriers' undoing.
First half goals from Nathan Redmond and Danny Ings put Huddersfield on the back foot and, after Philip Billing installed some hope by pulling a goal back, the defeat was confirmed when Michael Obafemi struck home a third goal for the Saints.
Whilst Wagner was appreciative of Huddersfield's improved performance in the second-half, he was fully aware that the opening 45 minutes were sub-par.
"First half was not good," Wagner told Sky Sports. "We looked nervous and looked uncomfortable in possession. We rushed our situations and did not perform on the level we are able to perform, especially offensively.
"Because we were so poor in ball possession there were a lot of spaces that we were not able to fill. We lost the ball too easy. Second half was better, but I have said that we have to set the tone.
"If you are uncomfortable and pass the ball backwards too many times, you can see what the pressure does to you. We were not brave enough in a lot of situations.
"The players reacted in the second half, which we needed as first half was not good enough. We have to accept this defeat which hurts and take it on the chin."
After failing to pick up a win from their previous five matches, Huddersfield are now four points from safety at the bottom of the Premier League and Wagner was well aware of the struggles that may lie ahead.
"It is tough times at the moment," he added. "Anything else will be a lie. We can only come through this period if we perform on the highest level. We have to have the belief that we can perform like we did in the second half more often."