Disappointed Brentford boss Uwe Rosler accused some of his players of "throwing in the towel" in their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of in-form Preston.
The straight-talking German admitted his Brentford side were given a lesson in terms of power, strength and experience by North End, who made it six straight wins on the trot.
Rosler said: "On our day, we can compete with and beat any side in this division but we made individual mistakes and once we got the equaliser we then failed to keep up the tempo."
He added: "We got ourselves back into the game but in the second half, in particular, I was disappointed that one or two threw the towel in.
"Preston looked much fresher and although they don't have the attitude some of our players had, they are physically strong and competed for every ball."
Rosler insisted his ambition to take Brentford a level closer to Preston would need consistency and added: "This is very much a transition.
"We have some young players who are learning. I am learning but we will continue to learn by playing against experienced sides like this."
Preston boss Phil Brown said: "I am really pleased with the guys making it six wins on the trot, but now the hardest thing is to make it seven and that is a big ask given we have Southampton next.
"I was quite disappointed with the pitch, which I don't think suited us or Brentford's type of game, but felt that the rain before kick-off evened things up a bit. Our three strikers caused Brentford problems all afternoon and Neil Mellor was outstanding for both of his goals."
He added: "We still have a lot of young players in the side and they are on a steep learning curve but it will do them nothing but good playing alongside some of the experienced players we have in the squad."
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