Winston Reid admitted West Ham United had simply not produced the goods in losing 1-0 at home to Stoke City in the Barclays Premier League.
The Hammers lost their first game of the 2013/14 season and first at home since February as the Potters edged an unattractive contest at the Boleyn Ground.
Stoke substitute Jermaine Pennant produced one of few moments of quality to settle matters with eight minutes remaining, curling a free-kick past Jussi Jaaskelainen after Reid had been penalised for a foul on another replacement, Glenn Whelan.
"They obviously came and made it tough for us and on the day they were the better team," Reid told West Ham TV. "We played poorly and that's what you get sometimes in the league. They scored about five minutes before full-time and unfortunately we lost.
"I thought it wasn't a foul [on Whelan] but you get some and you don't get some in the league and the referee is trying to make the best decision, but I thought we were a bit unlucky."
Whether it was due to Stoke's incessant pressing or their own inability to create clear-cut openings, West Ham could not find a way through a solid Potters defence.
When asked why things had not clicked on Saturday, Reid was brutally honest in his assessment.
"Stoke didn't give us any time or space and when we had the ball we were really bad with it. Everyone was. It's just a really, really bad day at the office for us and under different circumstances we might have got a point out of it, but we lost this one and we'll learn from it."
While many of his team-mates will fly to Spain for a meeting with Primera Division side RCD Espanyol on Thursday evening, Reid will be boarding a place for the Middle East, where he will captain New Zealand in the four-nation OSN Cup in Saudi Arabia.
The All Whites take on the host nation in Riyadh on Thursday before facing either United Arab Emirates or Trinidad and Tobago on Monday 9 September.
The games will not only serve as preparation for New Zealand's FIFA World Cup final-round qualifiers with Panama in November, but also help Reid get over the disappointment of Saturday's defeat in time for the trip to Southampton on Sunday 15 September.
"It's is going to be hot in Saudi Arabia so I'm going to have to make sure I take my fluids. It's going to be good to get away for a bit with the national team, as we're trying to build towards going to another World Cup. It'll be nice to see the guys again.
"We have two competitive games and my job as captain is to get the boys together and make sure we get on the same track and are ready for our games in November.
"I'm looking forward to our next game with West Ham and putting things right. We need to re-group for Southampton and I'm sure the guys are looking forward to that opportunity to put things right."