“We’ve got to roll our sleeves up.”
That’s the message from Buxton FC boss Paul Phillips after his side’s disappointing 4-2 defeat at Mickleover Sports.
Tuesday night’s result followed a goalless encounter with Stalybridge Celtic at the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium on Saturday.
It means the Bucks are still waiting for a first win of the season ahead of the trip to Birmingham-based Romulus in the FA Cup.
And Phillips hopes the first qualifying round tie will represent a change in fortune, as well as a change in competition for his team.
“I said to the chairman last night that I didn’t feel like I was doing a good enough job for where the club is and where we should be going,” said Phillips.
“The chairman’s fully supportive but I can totally understand people’s frustration. As a group of players and managers, we’re trying to sort it out.”
He added: “We’re not doing too much wrong. If we weren’t playing well then you could change the personnel but that isn’t what’s happening.
“We’re not getting the rub of the green, so we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and get out of this rut which a lot of teams go through.
“The last thing I am is a quitter.”
Bucks took the lead through Ashley Young’s close-range effort in the 35th-minute but they couldn’t take that into the break, with the hosts responding just before half-time.
Declan Bacon levelled matters before two penalties in three second-half minutes turned the game on its head, Mason Warren scoring both for Mickleover.
Chasing the game, Bacon grabbed his second of the game to finish the game off as a contest before Liam Hardy pulled one back from the penalty spot late on for the Bucks.
While there is a concern with both Jude Oyibo and Ryan Jennings picking up injuries.
“Anything that could go wrong on the night has gone wrong, but we can’t keep making excuses,” said Phillips.
“We lost our two wingers who were causing them problems, one with a broken toe or a badly bruised toe and the other with broken or badly bruised ribs.
“We dominated the first half. They’ve had one shot which they scored from and we’ve not taken our chances in the first half to take the game away from them.
“The buck stops with me. I’m not going to start blaming the lads.
“I’ve brought these lads in but we’re just not getting any luck at the minute. When things aren’t going your way, you’ve got to dig in and the lads are. The referee’s given three penalties, two to them and one for us, and not one of them is a penalty. He’s given our penalty because he’s given two for them.
“The first one for them was a foul on our player.”
And added: “When things aren’t going your way, like at the minute, everything seems to fall down on your head.
“All we can do now as a group is keep fighting and hope that we can get a win on Saturday to get a better feeling around the place.”
The Bucks head to Step 5 side Romulus, of the Midland Football League, looking to kick-start their campaign.
“We played Stalybridge and, no disrespect to them, I thought we should have won that game quite convincingly,” said Phillips.
“We should have taken the game out of their reach in the first half last night against Mickleover.
“But we didn’t take our chances and we’re conceding goals. We didn’t concede goals last year - we had 19 clean sheets.
“We’ve got a better back four than we had last year but we’re conceding goals and conceding at the wrong time.
“We conceded just before half-time to Mickleover and it puts a completely different spin on what is said then at the break.
“It’s a different atmosphere when you go into a changing room and you’re not winning.”
Phillips’ options in the middle of the park were boosted with the additions of former QPR man Josh Wallen and Lewis Walters on a month’s loan from Altrincham.
Both players have recent experience of playing in the National League North or South setup.
“We’re searching around like everyone else to get the right midfield,” said Phillips.
“I’m not saying the lads in midfield aren’t doing a good job but we have put a lot of burden on Callum Chippendale and Ash Young.
“They’ve played the majority of the games.
“That’s not what is winning or losing us the games - we’ve got a good enough team and squad.
“We’re not seeing out games, we’re not being ruthless and that’s what we’ve got to get back.”