Under-fire Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer was critical of his side's display after the 1-0 defeat TS Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday.
Pirates went behind as early as the third minute when Masilake Phohlongo headed home from close-range after the Bucs defence had failed to clear their lines.
Abel Mabaso was sent off for his second bookable offence on the half-hour mark before Galaxy midfielder Spiwe Msimango followed him down the tunnel shortly before the half-time break.
Pirates failed to get a foothold in the game as the Rockets defence defender stoutly to send them into the top eight, while Pirates’ continental hopes for next season took a blow.
“Yes we were first 15, 20 minutes not in the game, you know when Pirates comes most opponents are motivated against us,” Zinnbauer told SuperSport TV.
“To win the duels, to win the game and if you’re not in the game then you have no chance you can win, especially when you concede [early] and it’s very hard.
“And the red card is coming, ok the opponent also got a red-card but in the second-half we had chances for the equaliser, we had it but if you don’t score it’s not possible you can win a game or get a draw. It was not enough today, the performance was not enough to get the three points.
“The problem is that you have the players ready and if have the feeling or you get the information that the player, the muscle is tight or the conditioning is not enough for 90 minutes then it’s better you bring fresh players.
“We have a good squad, we can change the squad but it’s always before the game or after the game you have more information but [Deon] Hotto is always on the highest level, [Thembinkosi] Lorch was not possible from the start, it was clear. But we need him, that was the reason for the substitute.
“But overall it was not enough, ten, 20 minutes in the first-half, it’s not enough you can win the game. You were not in a structure, you were not forward passing, it was always reaction and it was not enough for a win.
“Yes, the second-half yes but it’s not easy during the game you get the goal, you get the chance for the equaliser but [if] you can’t score, you can’t win a game,” he continued.
“We need the three points, I know the players know what has happened, they know after this 90 minutes what’s happening [with regards to CAF spots on the log].
“We have to focus, analyse this game quick and then we need the head up, we play against Baroka, it’s also a special game, we need the points if you want one of these places in the table, we need three points for this.”