Matt Parr revealed his disappointment after Fareham Town lost 2-1 to Blackfield & Langley at Cams Alders on Saturday.
It followed hot on the heels of a 4-0 derby defeat to Moneyfields and put a major dent in the Reds’ hopes of closing on the Wessex League premier division’s leading lights.
But while two moments of indecision rendered Graham Lindsey’s strike a mere consolation, Parr insisted he could not fault the effort of his men.
The Fareham manager has instead called on them to set the record straight at Horndean next weekend.
‘It’s easy to blame individual mistakes,’ said Parr.
‘But the overall display by the team is the important part and I can’t criticise their work ethic.
‘On occasions like this, we have lost points we should have won and that just about sums up our season so far.
‘It’s easy to find excuses and, yes, the freezing conditions didn’t help – nor did losing our young striker Doug Rowe after just 15 minutes with an ankle injury.
‘And to lose twice in a week is disappointing.
‘But I have a squad of players who will take it on board and do something about it in the remaining matches of the season.
‘And where better to start than in our derby at Horndean this coming weekend.’
After a first half devoid of quality as both sides struggled for ideas, Parr’s Reds suddenly came good.
Danny Thompson’s corner was somehow helped onto the crossbar by Blackfield defender TJ Cuthbertson.
And goal-machine Lindsey made no mistake as the ball landed at his feet.
The Fareham hitman’s strike looked enough to defeat the promotion-seekers – who could not have complained given their lack of effort to that point.
Reds keeper Luke Douglas produced fine saves to foil Kevin Gibbens and Alex Baldacchino – before turning a Scott Sampson free-kick over the top.
Even when Manny Soetan’s cross sped across his six-yard area, Douglas appeared favourite to claim the ball.
But it slipped through his grasp and gifted the visitors a way back into the game via the boot of Ekone Elliott.
The match was finely poised now – and while Fareham may have deserved a return for their efforts, it was Blackfield & Langley who sealed the win.
Cuthbertson – an ex-Pompey youngster – fired in a corner to the near post where substitute Mike Byrne was given the space he needed to apply the finish.
Fareham Town: Douglas, Roden, Martin, Hibberd, Jones, Lewis, Thompson, Burt, Lindsey, Rowe, Austin. Subs: Dark, Stevens, Hoskins, Fricker, Dove