Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United lost focus after the mistakes that set his side on course for a shock 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion.
United were poor defensively in the first half on Sunday and conceded twice in quick succession to Glenn Murray and Shane Duffy, before Eric Bailly gave away a penalty on the stroke of half-time after Romelu Lukaku's goal had given the visitors hope.
And Mourinho revealed it was difficult to lift his side at the break as United's confidence was severely damaged by the hapless showings of Bailly and defensive partner Victor Lindelof.
"There were too many mistakes and we were punished for the mistakes. Sometimes teams make mistakes and you are not punished," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "We were always punished for every mistake we made.
"At half-time we tried; in the second half we tried. But from a mental point of view, the accumulation of the mistakes and the punishment of the mistakes with goals was giving confidence to a good team like Brighton, and took that confidence from us.
"I was not expecting these big mistakes - we are not talking about small mistakes - and we were punished by these big mistakes.
"You lose your confidence, there is a tendency to lose the direction of the game plan. We came here with an intention and then suddenly you are losing 2-0.
"You score the first goal and you think let's go to the second half at 2-1, on a high, and then suddenly you make that mistake and concede that goal. You go to half-time in a situation where the players are really, really, really down."
The United boss was reportedly frustrated by the inability to sign a centre-back in the off-season, but he refused to discuss transfer window failings on Sunday.
"The transfer window opens on January 1," he said. "It's closed."
And Mourinho would not criticise his players, believing that he would receive unfavourable media coverage after alleged disputes with the likes of Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba.
"When I speak about individual performances and I'm critical about my players, you do not accept it," he said.
"The press, the pundits are usually very critical of me when I go in that direction. Please do not ask me to go in this direction. It's not good for me.
"I will be very, very happy to analyse my players' performances when the performances are very good. It's a great thing for me to come in front of the cameras and say players A, B, C put in fantastic performances.
"When I cannot do that, don't push me to the other side. I do not go to the other side."
|´Fancy taking a look at Brexit?´ - Southampton credit Austin with VAR breakthrough|
|Green: Altercation with Durant will make Warriors stronger|
|Juventus star Dybala dismisses Manchester United links|
|Strinic given all clear to return to AC Milan training|
|Papier wait over as scrum-half starts for Springboks|
|MLB commissioner Manfred gets five-year extension|
|South Africa international Du Preez joins brother at Sale|
|Pogba and Sterling support my football dream, says Bolt|
|Asensio wants to ´feel more important´ at Real Madrid|
|Former Roosters and Cowboys centre Linnett joins Hull KR|
|New team tournament ATP Cup wins Djokovic´s approval|
|Roma and Pallotta donate €150,000 to injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|England captain Root reprimanded on frustrating day in Pallekele|
|Jokanovic proud of establishing Fulham´s ´footballing identity´|
|Huget to make first France appearance in a year|
|Mourinho and squad ´united´ despite ´mixed´ start, says Woodward|
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|
|Delph impressed by ´special´ Sancho|
|Bolt may give up on football career despite ´a lot of offers´|
|We´re better than Dortmund – Wagner urges Bayern to respond|
|Raptors fans give former coach Casey standing ovation in return|
|Martinez hails Hazard leadership|
|Muller going through ´difficult´ period, says Low|
|Betances wants Yankees to sign Machado|
|Rays´ Snell, Mets´ deGrom win Cy Young Awards|
|Dinwiddie to debut Stan Lee-inspired shoes against Heat|
|Iberostar Tenerife and Segafredo Virtus Bologna stay perfect in BCL|
|Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United|
|Red Sox give manager Cora contract extension through at least 2021|
|WATCH: Ronnie O´Sullivan hits blue with calamitous break-off shot|
|Matuidi: Mbappe has a great personality, like Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan|
|Cilic beats Isner to hand Djokovic semi-final spot|
|Mendy undergoes knee surgery|
|Warriors´ Curry will not play during three-game road trip|
|Ramos refuses to retaliate after Lovren jibe|
|Qatar pull off shock win over Switzerland|
|Tuilagi could make England return against Australia|
|Rooney has earned England reward - Sarachan|
|Croatia thrashing means nothing now – Luis Enrique|