Dejected Preston boss Simon Grayson blamed "kamikaze" defending for his side's 5-0 humbling at the hands of buoyant Brentford.
Four goals in 13 minutes, including a first Bees hat-trick for Scott Hogan, a Harlee Dean strike and a Chris Humphreys own goal, gave the scoreline an emphatic look that Grayson insisted didn't reflect the game.
He said: "We started well and were on top, created good chances and counter attacked well and then Brentford scored against the run of play.
"We started positively but then they scored their second and it bred a lack of responsibility through the team. From then on it was a kamikaze performance.
"You have to play with your head and not your heart but we bombed on looking to get back into it when we didn't need to. At that point it's all about players taking responsibility on the pitch."
Grayson felt the loss of striker Jordan Hugill through injury when he had made three changes played a part in the demolition.
But he added: "The players still out there have to stand up for themselves. There were players there have played as many as 500 games and they have to drag their team-mates - if they don't then we become a soft touch like that.
"This is a massive learning curve but if you give a good side like Brentford time and space to play they will dominate you."
Brentford boss Dean Smith felt his side were "quite average" until the game exploded into life in the final 16 minutes.
He said: "I thought we started both halves slowly. There was a little bit of me that thought that might happen because of the Villa game in midweek. We looked tired but we grew into both halves and started to play our game."
Hogan's hat-trick - the fourth of his career - saw the Londoners put Preston to the sword in a ruthless final flurry.
But Smith hailed the performance of Dean, adding: "He was magnificent and gave a real captain's display. He led by example, won his headers, was good on the ball and drive us on in the first half when we looked a little languid at times.
"In the final 15 or so minutes we played a lot quicker one-touch football. The second goal relaxed us and from then on we had great movement and I was far happier with the performance."
Brentford's final goal, after a quicksilver five-man passing move, summed up the confidence coursing through the Brentford players, who moved up to sixth in the Championship with the win.
Smith said: "Scott is a good player but we are a team and I was delighted with the way that even at 5-0 we kept defending that clean sheet as a team."
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