New boss Tim Sherwood admitted he was "devastated" after Stoke stunned Aston Villa.
Victor Moses' stoppage-time penalty ruined Sherwood's debut as Villa manager despite Scott Sinclair giving the hosts the lead.
Ron Vlaar was also sent off after bringing Moses down as the winger clinched a 2-1 win at Villa Park.
Defeat was Villa's sixth on the bounce in the Barclays Premier League and left them winless in 11 top-flight games.
And they remained in the relegation zone, dropping to second bottom after Burnley's 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
Sherwood said: "I'm devastated, no-one feels as down as I am. I can be devastated now but I won't be on Monday.
"We need to move on, games come thick and fast and if you are dwelling on the last game then they start to run out.
"It's not all rosy in the garden here and no-one thought it was going to be easy but it was a cruel way to lose the game. I thought neither side deserved to win.
"It wasn't great and it's going to be a work in progress, a lot of work needs to be done. I was encouraged with some performances, Scott Sinclair was very good, I just think we need to work on it.
"It's about putting the right jigsaw together to win the games."
Mame Biram Diouf headed the visitors level just before the break and the hosts never recovered, handing the initiative to Stoke.
Gabby Agbonlahor saw a header tipped over but Christian Benteke was again anonymous.
Stoke remain 10th and boss Mark Hughes targeted a top-half finish this season.
He said: "That's our aim and what we're trying to achieve. We're in better shape this year and our away form is good. That's something we're pleased with. Our home form hasn't been as good this year but we have an opportunity to kick on."
And Hughes was pleased his side silenced the home crowd who were lifted by Sherwood's arrival.
He said: "We had to deal with a lot of positivity around the place. A lot of people were saying we'd get beaten because we wouldn't be able to deal with that.
"It was a little difficult when we conceded. At 1-0 down we were feeling a little hard done by but we scored a really good equaliser just before half-time.
"We didn't allow Villa to get any momentum and from our point of view it was an excellent away performance."