"Southend showed us what it's all about. They made us look very poor on the day" – that was as straight and honest as Martin Ling could make it as he assessed the end of Torquay United's unbeaten home record in a thumping 4-1 defeat by Southend United at Plainmoor.
"It was a bad day at the office, from the first minute to the last," admitted Ling.
"We struggled with the movement of their two up front, but I wouldn't single out the defenders for that, because we don't do that here.
"It certainly wasn't good enough all round, from me, the players and the coaching staff, but we've been here before and worked our way out of it.
"I can understand the frustration around the place, but I would like to thank the 100-200 fans over on the Pop Side who stuck with us and kept singing to the end."
Ling added: "At 3-0 down at half-time, it could have been anybody to come off. We went to 4-4-2, but then they scored a fourth and once Manse [Lee Mansell] went, there was no hope of a fightback.
"I didn't get a good view of the incident and, although it sounded terrible, I've never seen Lee Mansell try to top anybody.
"He had just given the ball away for their fourth goal – sometimes he gives it away when you expect him to keep it – but I can live with people like Lee because of the character he is and what he gives us.
"We are Torquay, and there's no money in the coffers to get four or five players in, so we'll stick at it. There are going to be no mass changes."
Former Plymouth Argyle boss Paul Sturrock was visibly buoyed by Southend's display.
"You have to give our front two credit – they ran them ragged," he said.
"When you think that people like Freddy Eastwood and Barry Corr can't get a game, and they're good players."
Sturrock added: "Rene Howe is one of the hardest players to play against in this division, but he was kept very quiet.
"Torquay were unbeaten at home, and they are a good side with a system that works for them, so I'm very pleased for our players, with the result and the performance."
Southend travel to AFC Wimbledon tomorrow night, while Torquay have this midweek off after switching their home game against Dagenham and Redbridge to Saturday, December 1.