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."
|Rodgers: Packers still believe they can make playoffs|
|Mahomes hoping to ketchup to Heinz´s touchdown target|
|Ranieri tells Fulham fans not to expect repeat of Leicester ´fairytale´|
|Brown to leave role as RFU chief executive|
|Croatia star Rakitic ruled out of England clash|
|Capital gains for Zverev as he secures last-four spot in London|
|Sancho rise continues with Player of the Month award|
|Jones-Buchanan, Ablett and Briscoe sign new Rhinos deals|
|Root leads from the front as aggressive England assume control|
|Croatia´s Lovren antagonises Ramos and ´rude´ Spain|
|Rakitic has ´enormous respect´ for England ahead of Nations League decider|
|Ireland make flanker switch with Leavy out of All Blacks clash|
|Pakistan rip through Black Caps in Abu Dhabi|
|WATCH: Barcelona mark 15-year anniversary of Messi´s first match|
|Sterling, that you? - Walker uses falling fan to poke fun at England team-mate|
|Fleetwood applies pressure on Molinari, Wallace leads in Dubai|
|Don´t talk to me about VAR – Rakitic not over World Cup final loss|
|Van Dijk leadership essential for Liverpool – Wijnaldum|
|Dalic: Croatia´s bench was ready to stop Spain!|
|Sublime Root century gives England imposing lead|
|Vinicius appreciates Solari influence at Real Madrid|
|Havertz would suit Bayern Munich – Kimmich|
|Wilder: Roach recruitment a sign of Fury nerves|
|Ranieri targets defensive improvements at failing Fulham|
|PSG close investigation into player recruitment practices after finding no discrimination|
|Mayweather: Nasukawa exhibition back on|
|Witsel: Joining Borussia Dortmund my best career decision|
|Ballon d´Or win would not change Modric´s ´best year´|
|Ireland v New Zealand: Opta stats behind the meeting of the world´s top two|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals|
|Batshuayi dismisses reports of Valencia departure|
|Brazil must make Copa America final – Tite|
|Rockets rout Warriors as Green goes scoreless|
|Seahawks rally past Packers|
|Lakers G Rondo to miss 4-5 weeks|
|Durant is done with questions about Green|
|Smith, Warner set to return to IPL in 2019|
|No rivalry between Mbappe and Griezmann – Deschamps|
|Neymar: Emery will bring success to Arsenal|
|Jedvaj backs Croatia to deliver against England|
|Howell grabs first-round lead at Sea Island|
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|
|Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi|
|Wilson and Sancho pay tribute to England ´legend´ Rooney|
|Rooney gave England squad a lesson in humility - Southgate|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron passes Chamberlain, Williamson looking like he is next|
|We still have a chance - Luis Enrique not giving up hope after Spain defeat|
|Rockets ´parting ways´ with Anthony|
|Rooney became ´embarrassed´ at Manchester United|
|Federer: ´Easier´ to play when I´m up against it|
|Rooney convinced England are in safe hands with Southgate|
|Black Caps skipper Williamson confident over first Test availability|
|Federer cruises into last four of ATP Finals for 15th time|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0: Randolph saves light up bore draw|
|England 3 United States 0: Experimental side impresses on Rooney farewell|
|Croatia 3 Spain 2: Jedvaj keeps World Cup finalists in contention|
|Belgium 2 Iceland 0: Batshuayi rekindles Hazard flame with match-winning brace|
|Germany 3 Russia 0: Sane on target as Low´s men stroll|
|´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|