Mark Robins felt it was a “lesson” for the Sky Blues after they played the majority of the game with 10-men against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
Michael Rose was dismissed after just 14 minutes which was compounded by Adam Armstrong converting the resulting spot kick with Rovers adding three more goals to their tally in the second period.
The sending off made life tough for the Sky Blues, who made a promising start to the match, and Robins hopes his team learn after a difficult encounter.
Robins said: “It was a tough afternoon, we started quite brightly but this was always going to be a tough game with 11-men, but when you lose a man, and this is the second game here where we’ve had a man sent-off, it’s difficult.
“You want to try and get a foothold in a game and after 14 minutes you still haven’t got it, so we lose a man and the game hasn’t settled down, that extra man makes a big difference.
“It got to a stage where we couldn’t cope with it and there were a few times where we caved in, it’s a difficult afternoon, but it’s a lesson in terms of what this league is about.”
City are still missing several players through injury and Robins hopes he can get everybody fit again ahead of the clash with Middlesbrough next Tuesday night.
“Nobody likes losing games, but we’re still without a number of players that would be in the team, we’re looking to try and get that quality and it just wasn’t there today.
“There were times when we broke away and we had one or two opportunities to try and get out but it was a tough afternoon and we’ve got to move past it, losing games hurts, it’s just trying to move past it and get ready for the next one.
“We kept the score down at half-time which was a positive, in the second-half we were trying to play with a man less against a team that moves the ball well, which is really tough.
“We have to move past it and get onto the next one and hope we can get everybody back fit because it’s a punishing schedule, we’re down to bare bones and are still trying to get to grips at the level as well.”
The manager also reflected on Rose’s early dismissal and praised Rovers for making the game tough for his side.
“There wasn’t enough pressure on the ball to start with, the ball’s come a long way into the penalty area to be able to deal with it, but once you’ve got the wrong side don’t commit the cardinal sin where the referee is going to give a penalty and then send you off.
“We’ve learnt the hard way that an upper body contact means you’re getting sent off and the game is over, it became tough from the way they moved the ball and the quality of the players they’ve got made it very difficult to get anywhere near their goal, it’s another lesson for us.”