Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf admitted his side must improve on Tuesday night's 0-0 draw with Champions League debutantes Anorthosis Famagusta if they have any chance of progressing.
Anorthosis became the first team from Cyprus to reach the competition's group stage after beating Greece's Olympiakos in the final qualifying round, but despite facing a weak defence, Bremen failed to score.
With Inter Milan and Greek side Panathinaikos also in Group B, Schaaf knows Bremen will need to move up a level if they are to have any chance of making the knock-out phase. "It's notable that we had five or six big chances, but didn't take them," said a disappointed Schaaf.
"Against such an opponent, I would expect us to do better and play with more energy. You have to take chances like these in Europe, but we didn't."
Bremen's poor record in Europe continues. Since their return to the Champions League in 2004, the Green-Whites have never managed a win in their opening game of the competition. "We seem to have only one motto (in Europe): prepare well, play well, fall apart well," said an unimpressed Schaaf.
With Germany midfielders Clemens Fritz and Torsten Frings playing alongside Brazilian Diego, Bremen were at full-strength, but lacked much in the way of finishing as they failed to convert a string of chances.
Former Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro was Bremen's most industrious player, and had their best effort with a header straight at Famagusta goalkeeper Arjan Beqaj on 24 minutes.
On a night of few chances for the guests, Anorthosis were at their most dangerous five minutes from time when Greek defender Traianos Dellas hammered in his shot from 25 metres out, but Bremen goalkeeper Tim Weise dealt with it.
Bremen will have to raise their game when they travel to Milan to face Inter in the next round on 1 October, while Anorthosis will host Panathinaikos in Cyprus.