City boss Steven Pressley was left disappointed after the 5-1 defeat by Tranmere Rovers....
Coventry City manager Steven Pressley was disappointed with his team's display against Tranmere Rovers after a 5-1 defeat.
A hat-trick from Rovers skipper Ryan Lowe and strikes from Jake Kirby and substitute James Wallace saw the Merseysiders run out comfortable winners.
Carl Baker netted a penalty for City with 15 minutes to go, shortly before Ash Taylor was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Franck Moussa, but by then the challenge was too great for the Sky Blues to rescue anything from the game as Wallace added Tranmere's fifth with two minutes to go.
Pressley said: "There was a number of things which happened this afternoon which led to that result. I am not going to be hyper-critical about this group of players.
"I think today proved that if we don't play with that intensity, if we don't press the ball the way we can, then maybe we aren't as good as we think we are."
"We are only 16 games into the season and there is still a lot of work to do with this group of players. If we start believing that we are better than we are, then we have a huge problem.
"I think today was a stark reminder for us. We work a lot on our distances between the defence and the midfield, and for probably all five goals, our distances were terrible.
"A couple of things which are crucial to us week-in, week-out, we just didn't apply them."
City face Rotherham on Tuesday and will be looking to bounce back from their first loss since September after an eight-game unbeaten run.
The City boss added: "We have to work to tighten up at the back. We got what we deserved today. We allowed Tranmere plenty of space and they were much the better side.
"We have to get it right for Tuesday as we need a response from that display. Football has a way of putting in these reminders but you need to keep working and need to improve.
"We have to show a lot of character now to bounce back and that in itself is a huge test for the players. We have lost before this season and responded well so we will have to do that again.
"We have come a long way and we can't forget that but we have to keep meeting those standards. If we meet those standards in every match, it won't happen again. They're bitterly disappointed with the performance and they know we have to do better."