Dai Young refuses to look for excuses after Cardiff’s United Rugby Championship defeat to Edinburgh on Saturday.
The hosts ran in five tries to take them to the top of the table, as the Blue and Blacks returned to Championship action for the first time since October.
A number of Covid-related disruptions meant that 10 of the starting line-up were making their first club appearance in 11 weeks.
However, Young insists his side’s performance wasn’t good enough at the Scottish capital, but is relishing the opportunity to bounce back in the upcoming Heineken Champions Cup double-header.
“Of course it’s disappointing, but we’ve got to be honest and take it on the chin,” said the director of rugby.
“We were well dominated, and they were better than us in every area. We lacked control in everything we tried to do.
“We can offer excuses in the fact we haven’t played for a while, but they would just be excuses. We weren’t good enough tonight and were beaten by a better team.
“I expected that we wouldn’t be where we were, and some of these boys haven’t played since October.
“But it’s not just the playing aspect. A lot of them came back from being in quarantine and most of the squad have had Covid over the last couple of weeks.
“On the back of that we’ve also had Covid-restricted training so preparations have been tough.
“That’s the fact of where we’ve been but there’s no point offering that as an excuse. You still have to be better than that and I’m sure we will be in the next game.
“They’re not necessarily quick fixes and in terms of organisation and structure I expected that we wouldn’t be where we were.
“The individual errors were disappointing and every time we tried to produce something we spilt the ball or left them off the hook.
“We were struggling to get a foothold in the game, but one thing you can’t doubt is the commitment. They tried really hard right until the end and everyone could see in the last 20 minutes there were a lot of players running on empties.
“It wasn’t a great day at the office but I expected it to be tough on the back of where we’ve been. That was always going to have a cost and unfortunately we came up against a very good team.
“We have to dust ourselves off and try to put it right next week. We haven’t got time to feel sorry for ourselves. We weren’t good enough tonight.
“We’ve been better and over the five games prior we were moving forward. Tonight we took a two or three steps back and we’ll take it on the chin.
“We need to bounce back, we’ll stick together and we have to be better in the next game. We’ve got games to put it right, and with more training and time together we’ll get bck to where we were.”
Cardiff were dealt a further blow when they were reduced to 14 men in the second half, following injuries to hooker duo Kirby Myhill and Liam Belcher.
James Botham was also stretchered off at the Scottish capital, but Young says it’s too early to know the full extent of their injuries.
“With the two hookers departing, we were unfortunate to end up with 14 men, because it was tough enough with 15,” explained the former Wales international.
“That was disappointing and then it looks like Jim Botham had a head knock from a head on head.
“He’s getting assessed and it’s too early to know where any of them are at this moment in time.
“It’s precautionary at the moment, and we’re not too worried about any of them, but the six-day turnaround will be tough.
“The next 48 hours will give us a better picture of where they all are.”