Coleraine boss Oran Kearney felt his side weren’t firing on all cylinders as they slipped to back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.
Stephen Garrett’s first half goal was enough to win the game for Cliftonville at The Showgrounds on Friday night.
Coleraine created a number of openings, but Kearney told Times Sport he was expecting more from his side.
“It’s possibly harsh on us on chances created, but games aren’t judged on that they are judged on goals scored,” he said.
“To be fair I think Peter Burke has had a good display in nets for Cliftonville tonight.
“Hand on heart we weren’t in top gear, although we missed a few chances and the keeper saved a few, I still hoped we would have created a bit more than we did tonight, we were a bit toothless at times.
“We have had a good season to date, but I’ve said to the lads they have been heroes for the last 10 weeks, but the last seven days have turned that on its head.
“The performance at Carrick wasn’t good enough and we huffed and puffed a bit tonight.
“All of a sudden there’s a wee bit of a gap between the top three and ourselves now.
“If we could have won tonight it would have cut the gap to two points and kept us in the mix.
“We’ve lost two in a week, and other times we won three in a week, which changed the whole perspective of things.
“There’s a lot of football to be played, and we’ll not write off anything at the minute, we’re happy with the progress being made.
“However, over the next couple of weeks we have to be realistic about our targets and what we want to achieve.
“I’m not really one for records. If we had gone the whole season unbeaten at home yeah brilliant but it doesn’t put a medal on the table.
“Credit to the lads that we’ve made it such a hard place to come to, but the test is we go and put another run together.”