Tommy Wright accused his Corby Town players of “pushing the panic button” as they slipped to another heavy defeat at Steel Park.
The Steelmen were more than a match for Stockport County during a goalless first half but the visitors opened the scoring after the break and then Paul Malone, in his first home league appearance for 10 months, was sent off for a professional foul and Stockport scored three more times to complete a 4-0 victory.
The defeat has left Corby still third from bottom in the Vanarama National League North and Wright admitted people witnessed his team “roll over and die”.
“At half-time, everybody was comfortable and out of the two teams we looked the most likely to score in the first half,” he said.
“We had some dangerous set-plays and if you look at the way the game has gone you have to score when you are on top.
“We did have a spell where we looked like we were going to score but we didn’t.
“Coming in at the break, the game plan was working and I expected a little bit more than that.
The first goal was preventable and shouldn’t have happened at all.
“Molly got sent off, it was a red card and it was a penalty but the boys were 2-0 down with half-an-hour to play with 10 men and something has to click inside their heads to say ‘it is what it is’.
“But we pushed the panic button and once again Corby Town fans leave Steel Park having watched their team completely roll over a die in the last half-an-hour of football.”
The Steelmen are now without a game until they make the trip across Northamptonshire to take on Brackley Town on Boxing Day after their scheduled clash with Curzon Ashton next week was brought forward earlier in the season.
And Wright believes his players need to “liven themselves up” for what is set to be a crucial festive period.
“The situation is out of the boys’ hands now,” he added.
“We will work hard in training this week but we can’t influence what happens next weekend. “We haven’t got a game and everyone else plays so it’s an opportunity for them to pull away.
“Our next game is against Brackley, our local rivals, quickly followed by Lowestoft and then Brackley again. They are three huge games.
“If we stick to our game plan I think we are decent side, the minute we switch off and go AWOL we look like the team sitting near the bottom who have conceded 46 goals in 21 games.
“The boys need to liven themselves up and buy in to what me and Dave (assistant-manager Clarke) are telling them.
“It’s not a case of me setting them targets. It’s a matter of them going away, looking at the league table and realising themselves that we need to win games of football.”