Marcelo Bielsa took full responsibility for Leeds United's sixth defeat in their last 10 matches.
The Whites lost 2-0 at Nottingham Forest in an error-strewn display.
But coach Bielsa leapt to his players' defence, praising their effort and refusing to single out goalkeeper Kiko Casilla for criticism.
It was an untypical Leeds performance, sloppy in possession and not creating their usual amount of chances. Both Forest's goals came when Leeds gave up possession cheaply, and Casilla was beaten at his near post for Sammy Ameobi's opening goal. Tyler Walker added a second in a stoppage-time counter-attack.
“We cannot demand more effort from the players so clearly it is not the players' responsibility at this moment,” said Bielsa. “The responsibility lies with me because if you have good players and they are giving everything on the pitch the conclusions are clear.
“I have to understand it's me who has to find the solutions.
“It's not a time to give a new explanation now.
“Something that is 100 per cent true is that our players are better than the opposition players, they ran a lot and gave everything on the pitch.
“Taking those two arguments, obviously and honestly it's me who has to take responsibility.”
Casilla's form has dropped alarmingly after an outstanding first half of the season, but Bielsa was refusing to make a scapegoat of his Spanish goalkeeper.
"If it was a mistake, maybe this led to the goal, but not the defeat,” said Bielsa. “When you analyse the defeat, there are more things to consider.
"Honestly, I believe the resources I am managing are better than the opponents', so I'm not going to take decisions that focus the responsibility on particular players.
"Goalkeepers make mistakes of course and top goalkeepers are not top goalkeepers because they don't make mistakes, it's for the capacity to correct them themselves.
"We have different ways to manage the situation. I can't publicly condemn Casilla's performance.
"If you compare tonight with what was happening before, tonight was worse because in attack we created five chances and not 15. Clearly I cannot ignore my responsibility.”
The Argentinian said his insistence on taking the blame was not a tactic to allow his players to dodge theirs.
"The supporters and the club's expectations about the team are fair,” he said.
"The club has the resources to give much better answers - the staff and the players. It's obvious that we expect those demands.
"I'm not protecting the players because that means saying something I don't believe. I always say what I believe.”
Bielsa's opposite number, Sabri Lamouchi, reflected: "It was a massive result, a massive performance. We deserved the victory.
"We disturbed Leeds in the first half. They made a lot more mistakes than usual and we were in a good position, we created a lot. I'm so proud and so happy for the players, who deserve these three points.”