Graham Potter admitted Swansea City have a weak underbelly after West Brom had exposed them at the Liberty Stadium where they suffered a second successive defeat.
The Swans manager tried to put a brave face on things and talked about the “courage” shown by his side but when they needed to front up and defend corner kicks they were found wanting.
West Brom had to do no more than expose Swansea’s shortcomings at set-pieces to earn their third successive victory and consolidate their position in the Championship play-offs.
Central defenders Craig Dawson and Ahmed Hegazi both scored from corners after Swansea had flattered to deceive with the opening goal from Oli McBurnie.
The margin would have been wider if Harvey Barnes’ curling shot late on had not thumped against the far post with Swansea goalkeeper Erwin Mulder well beaten.
“The nature of the goals we conceded was disappointing,” said Potter. We have got to do better in that area. We have done that all season, but clearly we were not good enough tonight.
“But apart from that, I have got nothing but admiration for the players for their courage and their understanding of what we were trying to do.
“The first half was as well as we have played against a good team who are really dangerous on the transition. They have scored a lot of goals that way and we did well there.
“But the set-piece goals change the complexion of the game. They allowed them to sit back in the second half and the spaces were not there so much for us.
“The effort was there – we put everything into the game. We lacked something in the final third in the second half but, while we’re disappointed with the result, there are large aspects of the performance that were pleasing.
“It’s hard to be really pleased after a loss, but I think there’s a lot to go forward with.
“We now have to focus on regrouping, putting the disappointment behind us and trying to go to Derby (on Saturday) in a positive frame of mind.”
Swansea’s defending was a strength at the start of the season, but they have now conceded six goals in back-to-back home defeats.
They took the lead through the opportunism of McBurnie – his eighth goal of the season – but Dawson was free to loop his header over Erwin Mulder for the equaliser just two minutes later.
Hegazi’s header was even more straightforward. There was not a defender within five yards of the Egyptian when he rose at the far post just before half-time.
It was a simple tactic that West Brom manager Darren Moore confirmed they had worked on in training, having felt Swansea were vulnerable.
“The boys found a different way to win the game tonight, but it was an area we thought we might be able to exploit,” said Moore.
“We thought we could expose the far post area and in Craig and Ahmed that is a strong point of their game. When you work on something in training and it comes off, you have to be really pleased.”