Mark Warburton admitted his QPR team were well short of their best against Nottingham Forest.
But the Rangers boss also insisted the players deserve credit for their strong showing during the second half of the season.
They went down 3-1 at the City Ground, where Warburton endured a troubled nine-month spell as Forest manager in 2017.
“There’s no shouting and screaming. We’ve been on a really good run and they deserve enormous credit,” he said.
“But what we have to do is recognise the importance of maintaining standards. If standards drop slightly at this level, you get hurt.
“You can’t afford to be slightly off of it. And I thought today we were slightly off of it.”
Rangers’ performance was a huge disappointment after a convincing 3-0 win against Coventry on Friday.
Warburton said: “It’s a learning curve for us. You’ve got to learn every time you play.
“Good Friday was good to play in and enjoy that. But today was equally as important for us in terms of learning that we must maintain our standards and keep moving forward.”