Michael Duff said his side needed to be more ruthless after the Clarets lost their grip at Huddersfield Town to suffer a third successive Professional Development League defeat.
Burnley – with the returning Stephen Ward featuring as an over-age player – were the better side in the first half at the Terrier’s training ground.
But they failed to go in front - Ntumba Massanka missing from the penalty spot and seeing a shot cleared off the line – and Town hit back with three second-half goals to secure an ultimately emphatic 3-0 win as the Clarets folded.
“It was a strange game. For an hour we were good and should have been comfortably winning the game,” said under-23s boss Duff, whose side remains bottom of the northern division after a 10th league loss of the campaign.
“But it’s a lesson they’ve got to learn. You’ve got to be ruthless. I think we should have been at least 2-0 up in the first half.
“The start of the second was even-stevens and then a dubious penalty, which was probably outside the box.
“Basically, you can split the game into 60-30 really. I was happy for an hour and then the reaction and the way some of the lads sort of crumbled a little bit was disappointing.”
Huddersfield went ahead through a 62nd-minute penalty from January signing Alex Pritchard after Rahis Nahi’s tackle on Lewis O’Brien was judged to have been inside the penalty area.
And a quick-fire second goal from Dominic Tear effectively killed Burnley off as they failed to offer anything in response and then conceded a late third to Rekeil Pyke.
“A few went hiding and weren’t brave enough to get on the ball and do what we asked them to do,” added Duff.
“They were executing it quite well in the first half. We kept stealing the ball, countering and had one off the line, missed a penalty, hit the post and a couple across the face of goal.
“At half-time you’re thinking ‘just do that again’.
“But if things do against you and you face a little bit of adversity, you need to be able to react in a more positive manner than that. That’s the most disappointing thing.
“I’m not too bothered by the actual scoreline, because there were lots of good things within the game.
“The over-riding feeling really is the disappointment. It was a deck of cards, really.”