Heanor Town manager Dan Martin has said he was to blame for the 4-1 defeat at Newark Flowserve on Saturday.
The Lions led through Luke Crosby’s goal early in the second-half before the hosts scored four times to take the three points.
And rather than lay into his players, Martin instead chose to blame himself.
He said: “They were a tough side and we didn’t know much about them, nor had we done much homework on them, but to be honest it was down to me really and the decisions I made and team I put out.
“The lads battled well but was the quality there? Probably not, and that’s down to me.
“I thought the lads defended well, even though the score suggests otherwise.
“There were a couple of mistakes in the goals we conceded but a lot of them put their bodies on the line.
“We need to do better up front as that then takes the pressure off the defence so they don’t have to defend for 90 minutes. That’s what I wanted to take forward and we’re not doing that at the minute.”
Cory Bowler, usually an outfield player, continued in goal for Heanor and Martin says he’s had no hesitation in using him in the absence of the club’s first and second choice goalkeepers.
He said: “Cory’s had his moments but he’s also made six or seven good saves at Newark and has been brilliant in pre-season as well as keeping a clean sheet at Rainworth.
“It was my decision to put him in with one of our goalkeepers having broken his leg and the other having been on holiday for two weeks, as I don’t think it was worth going out to get a keeper in for a week or two.”
Heanor now begin a run of four straight home games, beginning with the visit of newly-promoted Eastwood Community on Saturday.
Martin said: “It’s up to me to make the right decisions now. The lads have worked their socks off. Saturday will be a big game against a tough side in Eastwood who will be up for it.”
Following the Eastwood game, the Lions will host Belper United on Bank Holiday Monday at 3pm before Barrow Town arrive on September 1 and Selston a week later.