IAN Holloway admitted his tactical gamble backfired after Millwall were beaten 3-0 by Reading at The Den.
With the Lions losing 1-0 to Pavel Pogrebnyak's opener, Holloway substituted centre back Mark Beevers and brought on striker John Marquis as he went in search of an equaliser.
But within six minutes of making that change, the Lions were 3-0 down and the result was a foregone conclusion.
Holloway had also swapped midfielder Josh Wright for frontman Jermaine Easter earlier in the second half, and conceded he had been too gung ho.
"I am happy to take that one on the chin," he said. "I ended up with five strikers on the pitch and I will never do that again.
"The team are not ready for that. I have told the players I will make some mistakes and hopefully everybody will see I'm trying to improve things.
"I tried to get us back in the game and that's why the scoreline was as bad as it was. I don't think my lads are ready for that.
"We need to get our structure right first – I need to nail down the second phase of things first and foremost. We became almost desperate."
Millwall fell behind when Stephen Bywater's fumble was pounced on by Pogrebnyak and Holloway said conceding such a soft goal had a psychological effect on his players.
"This is obviously the feeling we've experienced a lot at The Den this season and it's amazing how quickly it came back after the first goal went in," he said.
"The manner of the goal also didn't help because Reading had not done much and we had created the better chances up until that point.
"We needed to score, we didn't, and then all of a sudden we're 1-0 down. You could sense their structure and confidence.
"Unfortunately we were playing catch up against a really well organised side. Nigel Adkins has galvanised them and got them structured."