Director of rugby Dean Richards blamed missed tackles and a failure to take their opportunities as Newcastle Falcons fell to a 35-28 Gallagher Premiership defeat at Bristol Bears on Sunday.
Leading 20-10 at half-time but failing to hang on, Richards said: "We had so many opportunities and slipped off so many tackles, which are the two most disappointing aspects.
"On top of that we gave away a couple of silly penalties when the game was there for the taking, and that was the story of the afternoon.
"It was always going to be difficult because we lost a few boys towards the end of the first half, and Bristol are a quality side.
"They came out firing in the second half but a lot of it as down to simple missed tackles from ourselves, and if you couple that with our own missed opportunities then it could have been another thing.
"But you have to take your hat off to Bristol, they play a really expansive game of rugby and when you slide off tackles like we did today it will be a feast for them."
Beginning the new year at the foot of the table, Richards added: "There's still a lot of rugby to be played but performance is the thing we look at, and today we felt we should have got a bit more out of the game than we did.
"But having said that, Bristol were the home team, they're a good side and they've spent a lot of money on a few players who make a big difference for them."
Newcastle Falcons' next game is on Saturday when Harlequins are the Gallagher Premiership visitors to Kingston Park Stadium. Click here to book tickets for the 3pm kick-off.