GARY Rowett admitted to losing his cool with his Burton Albion players after they went down 1-0 at automatic promotion rivals Scunthorpe.
The Brewers had bossed much of the first half at Glanford Park before gifting the Iron a soft goal in a poor second half.
Albion chief Rowett was angry with what he felt was a big opportunity missed on Saturday, with echoes of last season’s wobble with a few games remaining.
“Honestly, probably for the first time I lost my rag a little bit with the players,” he said. “I’ve just said we don’t want to be unlucky old Burton again.
“We can’t do that.
“We’re a better team, we’ve got better players than that.
“I just think we’ve got to have a little bit more nous, ambition, desire, whatever you call it, quality, maybe, to go and seize those games.
“I just felt as though we’ve allowed that game to be lost.
“I said to the players in there I’m getting a bit fed up of saying well-worked, unlucky, did really well first half and not quite enough second half.
“That only washes for so long.”
Defeat leaves Albion six points off third spot in League Two, but the manager is still determined his side can bridge the gap in their remaining eight matches.
“If it was the last game of the season and we lost then it might have some
relevance,” he said.
“Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because we need to finish on probably something like 78 points, in my opinion, to get automatic promotion.
“How we get those points is irrelevant. Ideally, you don’t want teams around you to pick those points off you, but ultimately it doesn’t matter.
“It’s about winning games and today we didn’t capitalise on a great opportunity.
“Each game is three points and if you don’t get them you’ve got to get them in the next game, simple as that.”
The Brewers could make a further loan signing this week to bolster their squad, especially now Marcus Holness is a doubt for tomorrow night’s home clash with Wycombe, kick-off 7.45pm, after limping off at Scunthorpe.
But Rowett still backs the players at the club to get Albion over the line
“We’ve looked at that and have got opportunities to do that if we want to,” he said. “It’s just getting the right ones. There’s no point bringing someone in for the sake of it.
“We’ve brought Callum (McFadzean) in who we think will be a good addition for us.
“Again, we’ve got the likes of Marcus Harness, who I wanted to get on the pitch. He’s done no worse than anyone else and he’ll be all the better for it.
“It’s always nice to want to bring bodies in, but what do you do? Bring a new team in if you can!
“This team has got us this far and I believe it’s good enough to take us further.
“It’s whether we really want it enough as a group and team.”
As for the old question of whether the Brewers are feeling the pressure, the manager denied it.
“People talk about big games and pressure but we work every week towards the big game,” he said.
“The big game is every time we play.
“We never go into a game not trying to win it.
“We go and play Tuesday and will see if we can get a good home performance.
“Those three points, if we get them, would make this one not look quite so bad.”