Uwe Rosler traced Fleetwood's poor start in the 2-1 defeat at Rochdale back to their lacklustre warm-up.
The Cod Army were hot favourites to beat bottom side Dale but failed to get out of the starting blocks, Matty Lund heading the home side in front in the 10th minute.
Though Bobby Grant's penalty restored parity, Steven Davies' 86th-minute winner left Rosler's men empty-handed and he felt they got what they deserved.
Rosler said: "I saw it coming a little bit because my coaches told me our warm-up was not as intense as it should have been. When you do that you take it into the game.
"I saw a side to my team in the first half that I had not seen before. Unfortunately, the contrast between our performance in the first half and our first seven games was massive.
"Second half was much better but in the end they deserved to win. We will watch the first half again and ask why we performed at that level.
"I was upset about a few things but we will take the emotion out of it and analyse it professionally and move on."
Lund rose above Grant in the six-yard area to meet Donal McDermott's cross with a firm header into the roof of the net.
Fleetwood were handed a equaliser in the 23rd minute when Harrison McGahey needlessly fouled Chris Long wide on the left-hand edge of the penalty area, referee Mark Heywood rightly awarding a penalty kick which was duly despatched by former Dale man Grant.
Long proved a real pest to the home side for the rest of the half, going close to scoring on two occasions only to see his low drives blocked by Josh Lillis in the home goal.
But substitute Davies climbed above Chris Neal to meet Joe Bunney's cross and it wa his goal that separated the teams after an evenly contested second period.
It was Rochdale's first win of the season and lifted them off the foot of the table.
"We have shot ourselves in the foot previously and when we analyse the season so far it has not been about what the opposition has done to us so I have been reasonably comfortable with performances but it is all about results, no question," said Dale boss Keith Hill.
"We have let opponents back into games and it's been the same all season and it nearly happened again.
"We set off very well, there was a lot of confidence on the pitch but the first question we were asked saw us self implode. It could have been a shaky sixty minutes after that but it wasn't. They are a good side but I thought we managed their attack well and showed good attacking intent.
"I was happy with the performance and I'm encouraged by it."