Everton Under-21s boss Alan Stubbs admitted he expected more of his side after watching them throw away a 2-0 lead to draw with Aston Villa on Sunday.
The point, which came courtesy of goals from Conor McAleny and Hallam Hope, was enough to move the young Blues six points clear at the top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Group 1 table with a game in hand over nearest rivals Fulham.
Yet Stubbs was left frustrated with the performance at Southport's Merseyrail Community Stadium, one he says fell some way short of the standards set in recent weeks.
Everton's youngsters remain unbeaten in 10 games dating back to November last year, but speaking to evertontv, Stubbs said: "To be 2-0 up and throw it away is disappointing. I didn't think we deserved to be 2-0 up in the game but because of bits of individual skill and good finishing we found ourselves in that position.
"At 1-0, I thought they had the better share of the possession, I didn't think we got to grips with closing them down and we gave them too much room. It was disappointing and I thought that Villa were better than us.
"There was a lot to learn and a lot to take out of it for some of them because, from my point of view, that wasn't acceptable today."
One plus was a seventh goal in eight second-string outings for McAleny, the striker following up last Monday's long-range winner against Chelsea with a neat side-foot finish from the left-hand side of the box.
"Conor's done really well for us recently, he's in a rich vein of form, he's scored different goals and he looks a real threat.
"But we just didn't get the ball to Conor enough for him to hurt them. Because when we did, we looked dangerous."
Hear more from Stubbs on Sunday's game by watching the video above. If you're using the Official Everton App, please navigate to the 'video' section.