Nigel Clough says Burton Albion have been taking "one step forward and two steps back" far too often this season after their latest setback.
Saturday's 3-1 loss to QPR underlined the Brewers' struggles at home this season.
They were unable to back up a first point at home in more three months - which they claimed with a goalless draw against Norwich City on December 30 - with another positive result.
What made Brewers fans even more expectant was the quality on show at Hillsborough in the league match preceding Saturday's loss.
The 3-0 defeat of Sheffield Wednesday left the Pirelli Stadium faithful excited for the start of 2018, but they kicked off a new year at home in a similar vein to how they spent the last few months of 2017.
When asked if he had ever experienced a run at home as bad as the current slump, Clough said: "Not to this degree, and to actually lose nine of them, not even get draws.
"That's the thing, and that's where it has to start.
"That's why after a draw against Norwich, a draw today would've been a step in the right direction (against QPR).
"But it's one step forward, two steps back, that's how it's been for the last five months.
"The players just have to get through and battle away and try to get a result.
"We hoped we'd turned the corner against Norwich, but I think QPR were probably one of the worst teams we could've played, just because of the way they work and they stop you playing.
"It is very, very difficult to explain, other than (a lack of) confidence.
"When we run out here, I just don't think we feel as confident as we do away from home."
Albion will be looking for an immediate response, with Saturday's trip to Fulham (3pm) looming before another crunch home match later this month against Reading.
For Clough, though, there is not a lot he feels he can change in terms of the game-plan he sends his team out with.
It is frustrating for fans, players and management alike to be watching your team romp to a devastating 3-0 victory one week and then succumb to a soft defeat the next.
And that is what hurts the most for Clough.
"Of course it is, it is for every manager (frustrating)," he added.
"But in the last couple of games, we send them out at Sheffield Wednesday and we get a great result, at Birmingham (a 1-0 loss in the FA Cup) we played as well as we did.
"So we send them out with the same messages every week and the same things.
"Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t."