Wales have waited 64 years to return to the World Cup but are on the brink of a group stage exit after they were beaten 2-0 by an Iran side who had been thrashed 6-2 by England just four days earlier.
Both goals came in stoppage time but Iran were more than value for the result, having already hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed before the red card for goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey that saw Wales finish with 10 men.
“Absolutely, they deserved the win,” Page said. "I'm not going to sit here with sour grapes and say we deserved anything out of that game.
"We weren't in the game at all. You can carry one or two players if they have off days, but when the majority of the team are not quite at it, there's only going to be one outcome unfortunately.
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"I'm disappointed, more because we fell well below the standards we've set in recent months that's got us success to qualify for the World Cup. If we'd have met those standards, we'd have been alright, but we fell well below that today, and when you do that in top competitions, you get punished.
"This is a hard one to take because of the stage we're on. I've said to them before every game, 'go out and show the world what you show us every day'. That is not a true reflection of that team. They got their rewards today, they deserved that defeat. That's not like them, and that's what disappoints me the most.”
Wales have just one point from their opening two matches and to have any chance of qualifying from Group B must now beat England in their final game on Tuesday, though even that may not be enough if results elsewhere go against them.
The game will be Wales’ third in nine days and Page admits he may have to make significant changes to his side in a bid to spark them into life after two flat attacking displays.
"That's the problem we always have, asking players who are not playing for their clubs to come and give performance after performance," he said. "We are going to have to look at it and, if necessary, we'll have to make the changes to freshen it up."