Slaven Bilic did not hold back following a 2-0 defeat at Fulham that sent his West Brom back into the Premier League relegation zone.
The Baggies were beaten by two first-half goals at Craven Cottage, and remain winless after seven league matches. That there was no hint of a fightback in a game Bilic said beforehand was “very important” to the club’s survival hopes was alarming.
And their straight-talking manager didn’t try to sugarcoat the loss.
“They were stronger, sharper and quicker,” he said. “Their passing was better. They were better in the areas of the pitch where it makes a difference. It hurts. We didn’t deserve a thing from this game.
“They were better than us in everything – in quality, commitment, everything really. We can’t play like this. We have to be in the red zone, we have to be crazy, we have to be what we were in the last few days.”
Bilic singled out 20-year-old on-loan midfielder Conor Gallagher for praise.
However, he does not feel that is going to be enough for West Brom to get out of the situation they find themselves in.
“That is not good when you see young players doing more than the others,” he said. “We have to work hard like we have done in previous games. If we can’t do that, we have no chance.”
Bilic also said he would speak to midfielder Matheus Pereira, who went straight down the tunnel after being substituted 11 minutes into the second half.
“I didn’t see it because I was concentrating on the game but it is not nice and I will talk to him about that,” Bilic said.
“But we had more problems in the game to worry about that. That is not why we lost.”
Bleak times for Bilic
Bilic and opposite number Scott Parker went into Monday’s game at the head of the betting to become the next Premier League manager to leave their job.
Nothing in this game would offer any certainty about the Croat’s long-term tenure.
After limping to promotion last season with three points from their final four games, Bilic has been confronted by the usual financial constraints that are applied to West Brom managers.
Current owner Guochuan Lai does not invest any of his own capital into Albion, who were run on a strict budget by former chief executive Mark Jenkins, apart from a brief period between 2016 and 2018 where the club created a major financial headache for themselves.
Jenkins left The Hawthorns for a second time this summer, leaving Xu Ke in charge. But Bilic has still been forced to operate on limited financial resources.
Key striking target Karlan Grant did not arrive from Huddersfield until the final day of the transfer window. Bilic then lost experienced defender Ahmed Hegazi, loaned to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad before a permanent transfer at the end of the season.
Bilic expressed his displeasure at that decision in public and private, although it is understood the issue has been resolved and a fear he might quit has eased.
However, the pressure on Bilic is going to grow unless results pick up.
The immediate future does not hint at an improvement. Tottenham visit on Sunday knowing a win will – for at least a couple of hours – take them top of the Premier League. Immediately after that game is a trip to Manchester United.
Bilic is facing a big job if he is to turn this situation round.