Alan Pardew accused his Crystal Palace players of ignoring their game plan in their 3-0 defeat to Chelsea at Selhurst Park.
Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa were on target to leave Palace with only two wins from their last seven Premier League home game.
Pardew is craving the return to full fitness of forwards Bakary Sako, Connor Wickham and Dwight Gayle but admitted his side deserved to lose to the champions.
“When they got the goal you could see their spirit lift and ours diminish,” said Pardew.
“And there you see the story of the game. In fact we went away from our game plan and started forcing things.
“So that sometimes is what happens when you’re not scoring goals.
“Fortunately I think Sako will be up and ready for Southampton, (Yohan) Cabaye will be back, and hopefully Connor can be ready for Villa.
“Gayley’s not far away too. His presence would have worried Chelsea. I don’t want to moan about our injuries, that’s a fact of any season.
“Chelsea deserved to win today.”