A rueful Matt Taylor says his Exeter City were always fighting an uphill battle in their 3-2 FA Cup first round defeat to Blackpool.
His Exeter side found themselves 3-0 down inside 25 minutes on home turf on Saturday, with Joe Dodoo, Mark Cullen and Harry Pritchard finding the back of the net.
Ultimately that horror start was too much to overcome for Exeter, although they did give Blackpool a late scare with two goals in the last 20 minutes.
However the Seasiders clung on to seal their spot in the second round draw, which is made on Monday night.
“Obviously, you don’t want to lose any game of football," Taylor said. "The three goals in quick succession in that 30-35-minute spell in the first half just took us out the game completely.
“No matter how well we played in the second half, the three goals kill you, and it’s a very rare occasion that you get back in the game from 3-0 down.
"Having said that, the second half performance was simple and basic, but it had a purpose about it.
"Some of the players stood up and played well in that second half, it’s not easy to do that when you’re 3-0 down, but you throw caution to the wind in some aspects of your play.
“The most important thing is to give yourself a chance, and I said it last week in terms of the goals conceded, against a good team like Blackpool.
"You wouldn’t even say they were clear cut opportunities, but we have to defend our box better than we showed."
On the three goals Exeter conceded, Taylor added: “Part of it is luck, part of it is good from the opposition, and part of it is poor from us. It can be a combination of things.
“It felt like every opportunity that they had, of which some of them were when we were in control, certainly the third goal we had the ball, then they counter-attacked and broke on us.
"In terms of the first half performance, the more we conceded the more we opened ourselves up.
“I just needed the senior players to drag them in, get tight, and compact and get to half-time at 2-0, even better 1-0, let alone 3-0.
"That’s disappointing, it really is, but then you give them a structure in the second half, the structure we try and give them week in, week out, and then they go and play like that in the second half which is even more frustrating to see.”