Sean Dyche claimed Burnley lacked guile in the final third as they fell to a narrow defeat at league leaders Middlesbrough.
The Clarets went down to Emilio Nsue’s 54th minute strike on a frustrating night in the north east.
Dyche said: “There are moments in the game that are important and they took theirs with a bit of quality.
“It’s an awful goal defensively, from our point of view, and they’ve only had a couple more chances in the box.
“We kept the ball well, but we haven’t had enough guile in the final third. That’s what tonight boiled down to because we’ve given the ball away in there cheaply too many times.”
Burnley made a tactical change, replacing Sam Vokes with Dean Marney as the midfielder made his first start since recovering from a knee cruciate injury sustained in February.
Burnley fans at The Riverside
Dyche added: “I thought we dealt with them well in the first half. We changed the shape tactically to keep the ball and try and be patient.
“We fancied Andre up there on his own because he’s played that way at Brentford, but it didn’t happen for him tonight.
“I was really pleased with Dean coming in tonight and that’s a big positive for us after a long period out, but there were a couple of question marks over others.
“But it’s a game of tight margins and they have been good at coming out on top in those for a while now, especially here where I think they’ve only conceded two goals.
“It’s a tough place to come because they’ve made it a bit of a fortress. They are a good side, make no mistake, and we’ve kept those margins tight tonight, but we haven’t come out on top, which is unfortunate for us.
“We needed more tonight to do that, but after this little run we’re on, we won nine of the previous 12, so I’ve no question marks we can win lots of games.
“We’ve just had a few things go against us out of our control and tonight, we haven’t taken things on in the final third.”