Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies bemoaned his side's first-half display following the 3-2 defeat at former club Preston.
Goals from Ross Wallace, Callum Davidson and Matthew James put North End in control before the break. Forest responded via a 57th-minute penalty and substitute Robert Earnshaw but it was not enough to prevent defeat for Davies' men.
"It started in the warm-up," said Davies. "Our warm-up was atrocious and having watched that I was concerned because it was sloppy and slack.
"There was no tempo and we just didn't start, but there's no doubt that the home side thoroughly deserved their victory because they competed better than us and won second balls better than us.
"But in the second half we changed it around and totally dominated. We should have got something out of the game and if there had been another five minutes I think we would have got another."