Morecambe boss Jim Bentley believed his players illustrated a lack of confidence as they were beaten by Walsall.
Stuart Sinclair’s fourth minute goal separated the two sides and left the Shrimps 22nd in the League Two table ahead of Saturday’s trip to an Oldham Athletic side one place and one point above them.
Defeat was disappointing enough but the manner of it was especially difficult to take for the home fans with Bentley’s players failing to muster a single effort on target.
“We have an honest bunch of lads but we lacked a bit of confidence and lacked a bit of quality at key times,” Bentley said.
“I’ve been there and I understand it; we’re at home, we want to win the game and one win changes everything.
“We have looked alright going forward, creating opportunities and scoring a couple in the last home game (Salford City).
“We’re really disappointed with the result but the players gave it their absolute everything.
“It’s not a nice position that we’re in; it’s very stressful but, in life, if you roll over or lie down then people will trample all over you.
“The next thing to do is get back to work and get a result at Oldham; that’s what we’re looking forward to.”
Walsall’s win was their first in 10 matches since winning at Northampton Town on the opening day of the season.
It saw them move up to 20th position in League Two and manager Darrell Clarke was happy enough with their display come full-time.
He said: “I think we created chances but it’s a good, solid, defensive performance.
“We know we have to be better at the top end but the work and application was spot-on and we got a deserved win in the end.
“We’re trying to build a football club but we’ve had disappointing results over the first nine games; there’s been a lack of finishing off teams in the final third.
“However, we’ll keep developing it and see where we go; we have to put consistency into our results.
“We will keep working hard; we just look to regroup after every game – win, lose or draw.”