Mark Robins’ side have been beaten 2-0 by Accrington Stanley at the Ricoh Arena.
Jordan Clark gave the visitors the lead after just four minutes before he turned his goal into a brace on the hour mark to put the game beyond the Sky Blues.
“You need to get it right from minute one,” said Robins.
“We have had injuries and illnesses, but that is what it is. You have to be able to deal with it.
“If you do not start the game right then you allow them to get the rhythm. Accrington are more streetwise than any side in the division. To teach the players about that in such a short space of time is difficult.
“We did not cause them enough problems, but we have to move on from the game.”
Coventry broke their all-time league attendance record at the Ricoh Arena thanks to the 28,433 that turned ou, making defeat for Robins all that more disappointing.
“We have been asking for fans to come through the gates and they have done that in big numbers today. We have not managed to get the desired outcome, but we have to go again. There is no doubt about that. We cannot sit around feeling sorry for ourselves.
“We are playing catch-up now. We are in a position that we did not want to find ourselves.
“We have to be better than that. We will watch that game back again and again because there is a lot in that game that we can take from, and I am not talking about what we did.”
Robins was forced to make five changes to the side that turned out against Forest Green Rovers last weekend due to a number of injuries and a virus that spread its way across through the camp.
“Michael Doyle was injured. He picked up the injury against MK Dons and he played injured last week. He has a knee problem. He will be missing for a little while.
“On the back of that: Tom Bayliss has very ill, Marc McNulty has also been ill all week and lost four-and-a-half kilograms and Dion Kelly-Evans has been rushed back from injury because he is our only right-back with Grimmer out.
“Lee Burge did his knee in training the other day. It may be that he needs an injection to train. They really are dropping like flies.
“These are not excuses, they’re just things that we need to overcome across a long season.”
He added: “The games are going to run out if we are not careful and fizzle out. We cannot accept that.
“The players need to get their fingers out and start winning football matches again.”