Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted his Manchester United players lacked composure after Jack Grealish's goal gave Aston Villa the lead in a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Red Devils turned the game around as Marcus Rashford forced a Tom Heaton own-goal and Victor Lindelof headed a second for the hosts, but Tyrone Mings plundered an equaliser to earn Villa a point.
The result left United with just two wins from their last nine Premier League matches and, while offering a reminder of the youthfulness of his team, Solskjaer pointed to a lack of composure during a disjointed first half.
"Any home game you'd want to win and you go into the game believing you'll win but you have to play an opposition and the first half wasn't good enough," said Solskjaer.
"Their first goal knocked us a little bit emotionally. We didn't find our composure until we got the half-time talk.
"The boys have character; they're young, there's loads of energy, they played [in the] second half miles, miles better of course but it's a game of two halves as everyone says.
"Poorly defended by us, we should have done better. But then again we have to learn from this. You say that after every goal you concede - there's little details that go wrong. We didn't go out together as a team."
United are ninth in the Premier League table, having lost four and drawn six of their 14 matches this season, and Solskjaer must prepare his players to face Tottenham at home on Wednesday before the Manchester derby at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The former Red Devils striker gave an upbeat assessment of morale in the squad ahead of a week that could have a huge bearing on a faltering season and his own future at the club.
"These boys will improve and learn from this experience," said Solskjaer. "Of course we, as Man United, as a club, we don't like to be in the position we are but that's the reality now and we just take one game at a time.
"We've got Wednesday, we've got a big game coming up on Saturday again so these boys are looking forward to every game. Sometimes inconsistency will happen with young boys, ups and downs.
"You see in moments we play some fantastic football and at times it's too open. We failed to control the game at times, but we can't do anything about that now.
"We have to keep improving; we have to be better. We have to work on us as a team and becoming a better unit."