Thomas Baillie believes there is “something missing” from Kettering Town after they slipped to a shock 1-0 home defeat to Uxbridge.
Having picked up two wins in a row on the road, the Poppies returned to Latimer Park but were sent to a second consecutive home loss.
It meant their lead at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central was cut to two points.
The Poppies were without top scorer Dubi Ogbonna, who was unavailable, while the suspended Tommy Hull and the injured James Jepson also missed out.
But Baillie offered few excuses and conceded there may be some “tough decisions” to be made over the next week as he searches for the reasons why things are not clicking on their own pitch in recent matches.
“We are top of the league but there is something missing and I’m going to try to put my finger on what that is over the next few days,” joint-manager Baillie said.
“It may result in tough decisions being made but that’s our job and we have to do what we have to do to try to put things right.
“We have lost three games that we really shouldn’t have done. It’s not good enough and it’s up to us to make sure it doesn’t continue.
“By both teams’ standards, the first half was very lacklustre and from our point of view, it wasn’t good enough.
“It was always going to be difficult because we had the likes of Tommy, James Jepson and Dubi missing.
“They are big players for us but there are no excuses, we weren’t good enough in the first half.
“Our performances at home have been nowhere near as good as they have been away and I’m not sure why that is.
“We have been beaten by a team who have had one real attempt on goal and we have missed a lot of chances in the second half.
“The lads created opportunities but we didn’t take them and that is a massive problem.
“We have some thinking to do over the next few days.
“Determination and desire comes from within and some players need to to take responsibility because if they don’t, then we will take it out of their hands.”
Kettering’s third defeat of the season was a second devastating blow in the space of 24 hours after it had been revealed that winger Jonathon Thorpe will miss the remainder of the season.
Thorpe is expected to have an operation after it was confirmed he has suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament and a torn medial ligament after he was injured in the FA Cup clash at Aylesbury last month.
It is set to be a long spell on the sidelines for Thorpe but Baillie is backing him to came back “fitter and stronger than ever”.
“Jonathon has still got to wait for some more swelling to go down before they can give him a real explanation of what happens next,” the Poppies’ joint-boss added.
“It is a terrible situation for him. He has been a massive player for us and he is a great lad off the pitch as well. We are all devastated for him.
“It is a long road back to recovery for him and he will be missed.
“I know the club will do all they can to support him in the tough months ahead and, knowing Jonathon, I know he will come back fitter and stronger than ever.
“That is going to take time and we are all very much in the hands of the experts now.”
The Poppies return to action on Tuesday night when they take on local rivals Corby Town in the first round of the Red Insure Cup before hosting Lincoln United in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy next weekend.