Boss Paul Warne pointed the finger at his attackers as Rotherham United's League One campaign began in disappointment.
The Millers suffered an opening-day 2-0 loss at Fleetwood Town, with their new strikeforce, David Ball and Jamie Proctor, failing to show their best form after scoring 13 pre-season goals between them.
"I just don't think we had enough class in the final third to win the game," the manager said.
"We had a good following and it would have been nice to get something for them. That's the worse we've played for a while. There's a big difference between playing friendlies and the 'Real McCoy'.
"Our season isn't judged by the first game. The stats show we had more possession, more attempts on goal, more corners. We just didn't have the cutting edge."
This was Rotherham's first league action since relegation from the Championship last term and they fell to two goals from former Everton man Conor McAleny against a side who reached the third-tier play-offs last season.
Warne's men were a goal down after 16 minutes as McAleny swept home for Fleetwood and the same player struck again in the 66th minute with a sweet effort from the edge of the penalty area.
Lee Frecklington had goal ruled out for offside for the visitors three minutes before Town's opener, but the Millers created few clear-cut openings as they failed to replicate their pre-season threat.
"I think it was a rude awakening for the some of the lads about the intensity of this league," Warne added. "The first 20 minutes was absolute mayhem. Maybe Fleetwood are used used to winning games more than us."
Goals: McAlney 16, 66 (Fleetwood).
Fleetwood Town (3-4-3): Cairns; Bolger, Pond, Eastham; Coyle, Dempsey, Glendon (O'Neill 67), Bell; Grant, Hiwula (Hunter 86), McAleny (Cole 71). Subs not used: Neal, Burn, Rodgers, Schwabl.
Rotherham United (4-4-2): O'Donnell; Emmanuel, Ajayi, Ihiekwe, Mattock; Taylor (Williams 83), Vaulks, Frecklington, Forde (Newell 70); David Ball (Moore 67), Proctor. Subs not used: Bilboe, Purrington, Yates, Potter.
Referee: Robert Lewis ((Shrewsbury).
Attendance: 3,623 (970).