Eddie Howe bemoaned a difficult January transfer window for Bournemouth after their winless streak was extended to four Premier League games with a 2-0 defeat to struggling Crystal Palace.
Goals from Scott Dann and Christian Benteke rewarded a composed second-half performance from Palace, who claimed their first top-flight win under Sam Allardyce.
And, amid reports of a late £18million bid for Chelsea's Nathan Ake, Howe, whose side are without a win this month, did not hide his frustration after a lacklustre display.
"We set up to try and be positive, but with how we played it looked like the opposite," Howe told BBC Sport.
"We set up with a gameplan, but we looked laboured and slow. It shows a lack of belief.
"The intensity was missing. The confidence to take a chance seems to be missing. When you're playing well, you do it naturally. But we need to re-find it quickly.
"I thought it was an even game, but when they got their chances, they took them. And I think we missed some really good chances.
"We didn't deserve to win and the manner of the performance was certainly concerning. We need to work hard to find the solution.
"We need to improve the team and with the pool of players available, I could easily have gone out and spent the money, but there's no guarantee that would show on the pitch.
"The team we have is strong enough, but we need to show it. The players you get have got to be right. If not you'd be in a worst position then when you started."
Meanwhile, Allardyce - who added Olympiacos midfielder Luka Milivojevic to his squad on Tuesday - was relieved to have finally got a first league win with the Eagles under his belt.
"It's a relief for me. It really should have happened in the first game at Watford [a 1-1 draw] and it's been a long haul since," said the former England manager.
"The players looked like what I would expect a team of mine to look like. You can't argue with the result with the amount of chances we created.
"It's a great result. It's a first clean sheet, hopefully of many. It's three massive points away from home. We've let too many people get through us and behind us recently and we had to stop that."