Csaba Laszlo was almost lost for words as woeful defending saw his Dundee United slump to defeat at lowly Dumbarton on Saturday.
But when he did find some, the Tangerines gaffer called on his beleaguered players to use the final five games of the regular season, not just to reach the play-offs, but show they are contenders.
United looked anything but that as they surrendered the lead three times against a side battling for survival at the wrong end of the Championship.
Having twice fought back to get on level terms, Csaba was at a loss to explain how his team managed to lose instead of going on to take three vital points.
“Even I don’t find the words,” admitted the manager.
“Dumbarton is a team who are also in the Championship and they can win games but what we saw from my team in defending was not good.
“It was very poor to be honest, very poor.”
Rather than undertake yet another post mortem into this latest morale-sapping defeat, Csaba has called on his troops to show what they’re all about.
St Mirren can clinch promotion when they visit Tannadice tomorrow but of more concern to him is his team shows some fight.
“We have now five games and we talk about the play-offs. We have to go to the play-offs but in these five games we have to find in the dressing-room a different way.
“At the moment you do not have to look at who wins the Championship.
“You look at Dundee United, on paper we were the favourite but the reality shows we have a fight now for the play-offs.”
Turning to the action, Csaba felt having equalised twice in the second half, United should have gone on to win.
Lapses at the back, though, cost them dear.
“In the moment we were in the game, we get again a blow, a punch in the face.
“This should have been avoided in my opinion.”
Meanwhie, fans’ group the Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation have made clear they would like to speak to any potential investors in the club.
New chairman Mike Martin is understood to have been continuing talks with an American-based group but, so far, few details have been forthcoming.