Damian Barton said Derry’s performance in Sunday’s 0-15 to 0-14 defeat to Down was “not good enough”.
The Oak Leaf manager did not mince his words after the Pairc Esler defeat but backed his players to learn from the game.
“We were 0-6 to 0-1 down and the Down No. 14 (Barry O’Hagan) was on fire and I don’t think too many people would have got to grips with him,” said Barton.
“He got the ball early and kicked fairly quickly. We knew they were going to come out fast but we expected to get a good start as well. We fought back well and played some decent football to get back into the game. To go in at half-time only one point down was to our credit given the start we had but we didn’t kick on second half.
“We failed to reach the targets we had set ourselves to reach in the second half and I thought our decision making was quite poor on the ball.
“We got turned over in the final third a few times and this level of football can be very ruthless. It is not good enough and that’s just the reality. We put ourselves in a position to draw or even get something more out of the game but kicked a couple of poor wides.
“Again, not good enough at this level but at this time of year, maybe that’s what this competition is about.”
The Derry manager is still without the Slaughtneil contingent as well as injured duo Danny Heavron and Ciaran McFaul whom he is hoping to have back for the league.
“Danny is there, he is carrying an injury from the Tipperary game. Ciaran McFaul is injured as well. If they are not available at present there is no point in talking about them but the expectation is they will play a part. They will have to go through the process of getting up to speed.
“We are where we are but the big focus is Clare and Meath and those first two league games. We cannot afford to take our eye off that so we have to look at our fitness and there were technical skills that let us down near the end against Down.”