Manager Neil Redfearn says Rotherham United are “a million miles away” from being the side he wants after they crashed to a 5-2 home defeat against Ipswich Town.
The new boss accused players of failing to compete as they fell 4-0 behind within 48 minutes to stay rooted to the foot of the Championship table.
“We can’t start like that,” he said. “Five goals is just far too many.
“If it’s a wonder goal and they have had to work hard to get it and we have been at full tilt, then you can hold your hands up, but today was just a million miles away from how it needs to be.”
The Millers, trailing 3-0, were booed off at half-time after the worst 45 minutes of Redfearn’s six-match reign.
“One of the problems for us in the first half was that it took 35 minutes to win a header,” he said. “All of a sudden, we are under pressure. They are on to the second balls.
“We were too lightweight in midfield. Anything that was 50:50 , they came out with. It just put us under constant pressure and then the nerves set in.
“Sometimes you have got to do the simple things and play your way into the game and try to play the way you are facing.”
Redfearn will use the international break to give trials to free agents and also try to make at least one more loan signing.
Rotherham rallied to 4-2 before the hour mark, but poor play from a throw-in let in Daryl Murphy for his hat-trick and Town’s fifth goal.
“Second half, we matched them up at 4-4-2,” Redfearn said. “We said we have got to do what they are doing well. We have got to get the ball in to the front, it has got to stick and we have got to contest things.
“For 20-25 minutes, Ipswich are in a match and we claw two goals back. But you can’t get to 4-2 and then do something so sloppy at the other end. It just kills it.”
Individual errors played a part in all five Ipswich goals, while a mistake by centre-half Danny Coillins almost gifted the visitors a first-minute opener.
Paul Green was at fault for the first two, the Millers couldn’t clear a corner for the third, Farrend Rawson was caught out for the fourth and Richie Smallwood lost his man for the fifth.
“We have got to manage the game better than that,” Redfearn added. “They are not mugs, Ipswich. They are not going to come and lay down and let us walk all over them.
“But we gave them a leg up. I’m thinking about Danny Collins’ header and Greeny’s mistake and first touch. Poor mistakes, and their goals go in far too easily.”
Loan teenager Brandon Barker scored a wonder-goal on his Millers debut while Matt Derbyshire fired home a stunning volley.
“To be fair, our goals were top, top goals,” Redfearn said.
“But we have to be at it more often than not and today we were far away from it.”