Martin Allen bemoaned the individual errors that cost his side so dearly at home to Maidenhead United.
The under-fire Chesterfield boss, who came in for flak from sections of the Proact crowd during the game, says he understands why fans are losing patience after a 10-game winless streak.
He admitted that after 13 games of the National League season he still doesn’t know his best side and that it wasn’t too early to say Town were in a relegation battle.
Speaking after the 3-1 defeat that left the Spireites above the drop zone only by goal difference, Allen said the effort was there from his players but mistakes cost them the game.
“Very disappointing result,” he said.
“Performance wise I thought we played much, much better than Saturday.
“Individual errors at key points have cost us dear.
“(The first one) I thought there clearly was a handball but we still should have defended that better.
“The second one poor defending cost us that one.
“We got some momentum going, the players showed great courage and put in a very positive second half performance.
“To concede that goal was a critical moment and an individual error has cost us dear.
“Overall of course I’m disappointed but on Saturday I was really, really upset. It hurt.
“Tonight, I don’t like losing to that team but I thought credit goes to the players for the effort, commitment and courage.
“Obviously that’s still not good enough.”
Supporters in the Kop chanted ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ late on when Allen took off goalscorer Marc-Antoine Fortune and replaced him with Lee Shaw.
But while the manager acknowledged some had lost patience, he praised the Proact crowd for backing the team.
“Of course they are (losing patience). I don’t blame them. I loved it a couple of months ago when we beat Aldershot and this place was bouncing.
“They’re entitled to have a go.
“When the players give their all and they’re totally committed, they back their team. I thought the supporters were very good tonight, they saw we tried to play good football, we got caught twice on the counter attack.
“They’ll go home thinking at least the lads had a go today.”
The manager made three changes to the starting line-up before the game and will continue to tinker until he gets it right, because he’s still not certain of his best 11.
“I don’t want to keep changing the team, keep chopping and changing it.
“I’ve said it numerous times, I wake up at three in the morning wondering who am I going to play.
“It’s not glaringly obvious, I keep getting individual errors that are costing us dear.
“I’ve got to keep changing it until I find it and I will find it.”
Allen didn’t shy away from suggestions that the club find themselves in a relegation battle with just over a quarter of the season gone.
He still insists he can turn it around, however.
“We ain’t won for 10 games. No it ain’t too early (to say this club is in a relegation battle).
“We’ve got to win games.
“Can we turn it around? Of course we can. Will we? Yes we will.”