Nigel Clough refused to pull any punches after watching Sheffield United’s relegation woes deepen with their heavy defeat at Crewe Alexandra.
Goals from Chuks Aneke (2) and Byron Moore saw Clough’s side plunge to 23rd in League One - a point adrift of safety - ahead of this weekend’s meeting with fellow strugglers Shrewsbury Town.
And the United manager, who confirmed he will redouble his efforts to sign a prolific centre-forward during the emergency loan window, said: “The table doesn’t lie at this stage of the season. We are where we are for a reason and we’ve got to come to terms with that. There are still plenty of enough games for us to get out of trouble but this puts an awful lot more pressure on our next one.
“ We’re not going to try and cover anything up. With a couple of exceptions apart, we were desperately disappointed with some of the individual performances out there.
“Even players who have been so good for us lately, including Jamie Murphy, Ryan Flynn and Jose Baxter, seemed to hit a wall.
“It’s difficult to explain because we’d trained so well in the week. But that is a reminder that we can’t stop doing the things which have got us some good results lately. When we do, we don’t look like a team.”
Asked whether United, who face Fulham in an FA Cup fourth round replay tomorrow, had picked-up any injuries, Clough added: “No, everyone is okay. We didn’t put a tackle in to get injured.
“We want to go to through at Fulham but Saturday (against Shrewsbury) is all important. Straight after Fulham our focus will switch to that.”