Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler expressed his 'massive disappointment' with the 1-0 defeat to Orlando Pirates at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Vincent Pule's 67th-minute goal means Tinkler's men now need at least six points in their final three games to avoid relegation.
"Massive disappointment with the result," the 48-year-old told Supersport TV.
"I thought in the first half we didn't press them well enough. Our shifting wasn't very good. We gave them a few spaces in between the lines and in the end they hurt us. Our transitions in to attack were very poor in the first half. It was only once or twice we managed to get in behind them. We created one or two situations.
"So at half-time we spoke about needing to raise the intensity. We needed to play a lot quicker on the transitions and on the counter. We needed to match in all areas, especially the physical game. They run a lot, they work hard. And we needed to match them. I felt at moments we weren't doing that.
"I felt our decision in the final third was poor. We know their weaknesses at the far post. We didn't look to switch the ball.
"But I can't fault the effort. I know the boys worked their socks off.
"The boys have deserved a lot more that they've got this season. But you have to soldier on.
When asked about his decision to replace Mxolisi Kunene with Deolin Mekoa at half-time, the former Cape Town City coach responded.
"I just felt that Kunene was struggling to get himself in to the game," said Tinkler.
"Deolin offers you a bit more with the set-pieces because of his delivery and the crosses in to the box as well as playing the diagonals.