Gary Caldwell apologised to fans and questioned his side’s desire to avoid the drop after a 4-0 rout at the hands of Oxford United.
The Chesterfield boss was distinctly unimpressed by his team’s inability to replicate the performance against Millwall on Tuesday in another vital game four days later.
“I apologise to the fans because I can’t accept that and I know they can’t,” said the Scot, who hasn’t seen his team win any of the seven games since his arrival.
“We had a threat on the counter, we asked them questions and had opportunities down the left. We wasted those, gifted them a goal and then self destruct from then on.
“No resilience, no character, no desire, no willingness to fight and stand up for yourself.
“It could have been anything in the end.”
Chesterfield’s lack of consistency has frustrated the manager.
“We can raise it for a couple of days and then we can’t sustain it,” he said.
“You have to be 24/7, you have to work, rest, mentally prepare 24/7 and we don’t do it.
“We do it in little bursts, halves, 20 minutes here and there.
“The players have to look at themselves.
“It’s been going on for too long.
“We played well at Millwall and then turn up four days later and it’s a million miles away.”
When asked if his side had the character to get the seven wins they’ll need to escape the drop, he answered: “Not on that showing, no.
“They have to show a commitment and a desire to this club to keep them in the division.”
Caldwell still insists he hasn’t been surprised by the size of the challenge since taking over following Danny Wilson’s sacking in January.
But he has felt let down by the lack of resilience in the squad.
“Things haven’t went well,” he said.
“The overall desire within the changing room has disappointed me, I have to be honest and say that.
“There’s not been enough from within there.
“The quality is there, I see it every day in training, I don’t see enough of it on the pitch.
“We have to come out on Tuesday and have a go again, there’s still games to get back in it but the mindset of most players in that changing room has to change.”
And although he made that apology to supporters, he obviously didn’t appreciate hundreds of seats emptying midway through the second half or the boos that rang out at the final whistle.
“Get behind the team,” he told the club’s fanbase.
“I understand the frustration but it doesn’t help when there’s criticism and negativity from the sides, it doesn’t help.
“We’re all feeling the pain, the staff, the players and I know they feel it because they’ve supported this club or been involved far longer than I have.
“Come and support your team, if you want to show negativity then don’t come.