Ulster's director of rugby Les Kiss couldn't hide his disappointment after his side's 28-17 loss to Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Friday.
The defeat – Ulster's third successive one in the PRO12 and their fourth from five matches – means they have slipped down to fifth on the table.
Kiss admitted that Edinburgh wanted victory more than his charges and said he is baffled by his side's poor form.
"They came out firing," he told Belfast Live after the match.
"They were hungry, the physical battle is something they won collectively and we didn't look like the team that we practiced for and that we are.
"It's a bit of a mystery. It's not truly representative of who we are and what we are but you can only go on what we gave tonight.
"I thought we trained really well this week, we just didn't put our words into action. It wasn't until late in the game that we actually started to do something that was decent and we started to create opportunities.
"Pretty disappointed with it overall to tell you the truth."
Ulster's recent poor form comes after they started their PRO12 campaign with five successive wins and Kiss wants his team to believe in themselves when they return to action – after the November Tests – against Zebre at Ravenhill in Novermber.
"We've got to stick together," he added.
"We talk about being honest, but being honest means you have to deliver as well in your actions.
"We always work hard, no doubt, but we have to take this hit, we have to cop it on the chin and we have to look hard at ourselves and come back from the break and prepare to work hard.
"Zebre are going to be looking at us on our return game from the break and probably licking their lips if we (perform like) that again.
"So we have to work hard and stay strong and make sure we tap into the right things to get the return on that performance."