Jon Whitney bemoaned his side’s inability to defend set-pieces after the Saddlers squandered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at Southend.
Franck Moussa’s first-half double put the visitors in control, but second-half strikes from Nile Ranger, Anton Ferdinand and Simon Cox completed a stirring Shrimpers fightback.
“At 2-0 up, you shouldn’t lose a game,” said Whitney. “We’ve got to handle set-pieces better.
“We switched off for the first one, turned our back on the ball. They haven’t opened us up – we coped with their threat from open play – and we can’t keep saying that it’s set-pieces.
“You look at the goals from set-pieces at Bolton, the direct play at Wimbledon. I don’t want to field a team of giants but we’ve got to do better and I’m not going to make any excuses for that.
“We can’t allow three set-pieces to cost us. After 60 minutes I thought we’d contained them, been strong and stuck to the game plan.
“The first goal in the second half was always going to change it – it builds momentum and we had to deal with it better.”
Whitney was also disappointed to see ex-Blues man Moussa end up on the losing side.
“I feel for the kid because he used to be at Southend,” Whitney added. “To get two goals and be on the losing team, he’s the one person I do feel.
“But there was a naivety about us today and we can’t keep conceding from set-pieces – it’s killing our season.”