Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder said he will not “applaud, credit or reward” his players for effort alone after their home defeat by Leicester.
The Blades were applauded by fans after the 2-1 loss but Wilder found parts of the display “bewildering”.
At half-time Wilder told his players he had a meal booked for 20:30 BST.
Wilder said he told them: “I may as well bring it forward to quarter past four if we carry on sitting deep and giving the ball away.”
The Blades cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s opening goal in the second half through Oli McBurnie, but a stunning Harvey Barnes strike condemned them to a first defeat since their return to the Premier League.
‘Running around is a given’
Asked why his frustration with the display seemed in contrast to widespread applause from fans Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield: “I’m not going to applaud, credit or reward the players because they run around. Whatever the supporters do after is up to them but for me it’s a normal, natural thing to do and if they don’t they won’t play.
“I’m not here to appease fans. I walked through the door three-and-a-half years ago and set our standard, if you keep giving the ball away you allow good players to gain momentum.
“We tried to gain momentum but we turned the ball over so cheaply it was frightening. We didn’t play quick enough. It’s disappointing and bewildering to see that happen for a team like us who are really good with the ball.”
Speaking to BBC Match of the Day, the clearly frustrated manager added: “I’m not pleased with effort because that is just a bog standard thing for me. Cheers for effort doesn’t tick a box for me.
“I didn’t think we deserved anything. If we keep giving the ball away to good players we are going to create bad situations. In both boxes they were better than us. There is a lot for us to work on.”
The newly-promoted side – who took four points from their opening two Premier League games – struggled to create clear-cut openings aside from McBurnie’s goal and duly fell to just their second defeat in 21 matches.