Dean Keates was disappointed with the goals his side conceded in the Saddlers’ 3-2 defeat to promotion-pushing Portsmouth.
Brett Pitman’s penalty and Omar Bogle’s deft lob put Pompey in control at the break, with Viv Solomon-Otabor adding a third after the restart.
John Guthrie pulled two goals back but it wasn’t enough to prevent a first defeat in four matches.
“The lads kept going,” said Keates. “The endeavour, the work-rate – it was all there.
“We’re just disappointed with the goals we conceded. They’ve not really had to earn their goals. We’ve conceded three from three mistakes.
“They’re efficient and well organised in what they do. We knew what their threats were.
“We said to the lads at half-time to be a bit braver in the second half, to play forward.
“First half, we played a little bit comfortable and weren’t as brave as we wanted to be to play forward. Second half, I thought we did that.
“The lads kept going and showed the right character, the right endeavour.
“There are bits we need to learn from. A little bit more care and attention on one or two passes, and just the basics of getting hold of it and linking up play, we may have even got a draw.
“It’s disappointing but we’ve got to regroup and make sure we go and get something at the weekend at Sunderland, which we’re more than capable of doing.”
Keates was pleased with the performance of Aston Villa loanee Corey Blackett-Taylor, who looked bright after coming on as a second-half substitute.
“He livened the game up,” Keates added.
“It was an opportunity for him. He’s been a bit frustrated over the last few weeks and I had a chat with him the other day.
“He’s been chomping at the bit to get an opportunity, came on and gave me something to think about.”