GARY Rowett reckons his Burton Albion side looked flat as they suffered a second successive home defeat in League Two.
The Brewers went down 2-1 to Portsmouth on Saturday after a poor performance at the Pirelli Stadium.
Ricky Holmes – a one time target for Albion – gave Pompey a first-half lead before Simon Ferry netted a controversial goal just after the break following what looked a foul on Damien McCrory.
Zander Diamond scored an injury-time consolation – but it was too little, too late for the Brewers.
“We looked a bit flat,” said Albion boss Rowett. “We tried to change it in one or two different ways, but it stayed flat.
“Last season (the way we worked hard) was a key factor at home – we played with a bit of tempo and were in people’s faces.
“Teams will now spend a lot more time trying to work us out a little bit and will come with a slightly more detailed game plan, but ultimately we’ve got to do more.
“At the moment, we’re not playing with enough fight.
“We’ll work that out and that’s two games where we certainly haven’t done enough.”
Rowett was frustrated by Burton’s inability to really get going against Portsmouth – and was disappointed by the officials in the approach to Pompey’s second goal.
“There were undoubtedly a number of reasons we lost,” he said. “We didn’t do enough to win the game.
“At home, we’ve not played with anywhere near the intensity or brightness we did last season.
“We knew that would be difficult to replicate and we’ve been better away from home, certainly so far, but at home we’ve not created enough chances and haven’t worked hard enough to create the chances.
“We’re not getting the rub of the green, either. The second goal, I cannot understand for the life of me why that wasn’t a foul.
“It’s blatant. He might not have intended to foul Damien McCrory, but it’s a foul.
“By not giving it they scored a second goal and you can argue the game’s over, to a certain degree.
“I don’t really want to talk about it again, but it’s another poor decision that has made it very difficult for us to win the game.
“We’ve slipped into a period where we’re not doing enough to win games.
“I accept that and we’re not playing well enough as a team over the last two or three games.”
Rowett gave his side a good rollocking in the dressing room afterwards - with only Jordan Pickford, back on loan from Sunderland, and Diamond escaping his wrath.
“I though Zander acquitted himself well and Jordan made some excellent saves and couldn’t do an awful lot on the goals,” he said. “Maybe he needed a little more help from one or two defenders.
“Again, that’s twice they reacted quicker than us and that’s not really acceptable.
“Those two were excellent, but after that I’m struggling to name too many who were very good on the day.
“This is part and parcel of football. It’s not always going to be a bed of roses and we’ve got to make sure we become better as a team.
“I’ve had a little bit of a go at them today and have been critical of them.
“We try to be supportive, we try to put our arm around people.
“But you can’t do that at the moment because we’re not doing enough.
“I told them we need a lot more from them.
“If you’re a good player, then run around, work hard and show us the quality you’ve got.
“If you’re not a good player, then run around and work hard - that’ll be enough for me.”