Villarreal boss Fran Escriba bemoaned his side’s first-half performance as they suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Deportivo Alaves on Monday.
The Yellow Submarine were slow out of the blocks at the Estadio de Mendizorroza as Ibai Gomez opened the scoring on 35 minutes before Rodrigo Ely added a second with 45 minutes played.
Escriba's side were far improved after the break, and Cedric Bakambu pulled a goal back on 70 minutes, however, they were unable to add to that.
The result left Villarreal in fifth place on the standings, with 54 points, and in real danger of losing their European spot, with a number of sides in close proximity, and with six games to play.
After the game, Escriba told the club's official website: "The first 45 minutes were very bad. It was a rubbish first half. A conceptual mistake. We wanted to play a certain way and we didn’t do it. We got it wrong in the first half."
He continued: "In the second half, we did what we’d talked about and improved. The team finished the game well, but we’re stuck with the disappointment of not doing what we’d talked about.
"I really believed we could get back in the game after the break, despite being 2-0 down. It’s a shame because we had chances. The game got away from us in the first half."
Villarreal next play CD Leganes at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Saturday.
Escriba concluded: "We had a bad match and now we have to think about the next one. The point difference in the table will be small."