Ashington FC manager Steve Harmison admitted after Saturday’s 2-0 reverse to local rivals Bedlington Terriers that watching his outfit is currently ‘painful’.
The Woodhorn Lane boss said his side caused their own problems and made bad decisions in the Wansbeck derby defeat at Welfare Park.
The defeat was the Colliers’ seventh in a row and saw them plummet to the bottom of the current form table.
Harmison said: “It was a game of a team who are fighting for their lives [Bedlington] against a team who are in a rut [Ashington] and I’m not sure how to sum it up.
“We caused our own problems 40 yards from the opposition goal by making the wrong decisions and giving the ball away, and I’m asking myself is my voice not being heard?
“Things are not going our way, but that’s no excuse.”
Harmison said he always thought the first goal would be pivotal.
“In the first half there wasn’t much in it,” he said.
“I thought we were the better side and it was unfortunate for us that from our keeper Conor Grant’s headed clearance, the ball fell to Marc Walton who put it away.
“The first goal was always going to be a big thing in the game because we are low on confidence and it gave them a massive lift.
“Second half I thought we did well for the first ten to 15 minutes, then when Walton was sent off, it was one of those situations where you think, ‘right this might change now and start to go our way’.
”But we stopped doing the simple and basic things of football well, we weren’t controlling it, we were rushing it, we were panicking a little bit and only got close to the final third.
“We made bad decisions and that is how we are going as a team. We have got to get out of this rut.
“After a bit of an iffy start to the season we went eight games unbeaten and now we have this run of defeats.
“It’s frustrating and what we are getting at the moment is nowhere near good enough and it is painful.
“That was as bad as it gets on the field.
“I have defended the players in a way but I think they have got to hold their hands up and take responsibility, as well as myself and the management team.
“We have all got to hold our heads up and it’s not even close to being good enough for Ashington FC.
“I’m not sure if my voice is getting heard the way it used to be and I think that is a concern as well.
“We have got some tough games coming up and we potentially could have lost another player [Ben Christensen] through injury, which we could do without.”