"I told them to be solid for first 10 or 15 minutes, and they obviously did not listen," he said.
"If you get off to a poor start, you think that it could be five or six. But we stayed in game and got a decent first goal, then got level and thought we were in with chance.
"If you are not at the races in the Premier League, then you are going to get beat."
However, the Sunderland manager felt his team emerged with great credit.
"You have to look at the positives," said Keane.
"I keep talking about the attitude and character, and also there was some very good play today.
"The lads gave it their all.
"But you need a hell of a lot of luck to get positive results at these grounds. We had a bit, but just not enough."
Keane added: "We are not a bad team, but the next gap is the biggest one.
"We need to turn these performances into results."