A Laura Coombs brace and Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw header weren’t enough to earn all three points at Aston Villa, with a Rachel Daly double plus further strikes from Alisha Lehmann and Kenza Dali proving our undoing.
It means our impressive unbeaten run on the opening day, stretching back to 2015, comes to an end at Villa Park following a 4-3 loss.
However, the boss believes his players have the motivation and experience to recover from the setback ahead of next week’s showdown with reigning WSL champions Chelsea.
"Of course, it's a tough one to take but we've been in tough moments and situations before and had tough starts,” the boss reflected in his post-match press conference.
"For us it's simple. We have to dust ourselves down, we support each other really well and stick at it.
"We know, or have an idea, of what this group of players are capable of doing.
"It'll take a bit of time and it's not the start we wanted, there's no denying that, but there'll be no sad faces come Chelsea away next week.
"We need to work hard in that game to get anything form it, it's onwards and upwards."
Things were seemingly going to plan for City when a brace from Coombs and a Shaw header saw us overturn a two-goal deficit just ten minutes into the second half.
But the hosts were on level terms once again just three minutes later, and claimed all three points when Daly added her second of the match from close-range.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for City, who had looked much improved in the early stages of the second half.
While the boss couldn’t fault his players’ efforts in battling our way back into the contest, he admitted that he and the team weren’t looking for any excuses.
He said: "[I just said at half-time] that we needed to be better with and without the ball.
“There was more fight in the Villa team in the first half and we were probably waiting or expecting things to happen.
“"We got a lifeline with Laura's goal just before half-time came. We tweaked a few things that helped us but without the ball today we had issues.
"Especially with the way we turned the game around within ten minutes of the second half, to lose the game from that point is a tough one to take.
"We showed good character but if you concede four goals, you'll struggle to get anything out of the game."