Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Glenn Hoddle is insistent that Carl Cort should not be blamed for his side's sudden fall from grace.
After a purple patch of eight goals in seven games, Cort has now failed to score in his last three - it is no coincidence that Wolves have claimed just one point from a possible nine in those matches.
Cort is still the Championship's leading marksman with nine goals, a tally bolstered by his sheer cheek in claiming his first goal of the season when an off-target header in Wolves' first home game of the campaign flew in off a Crystal Palace defender.
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But Cort had an individual nightmare in Tuesday night's 1-1 home draw with Derby County, missing a succession of chances and generally having an evening to forget.
It was another night that left Hoddle scratching his head with utter frustration at how Wolves' poor finishing is costing them so many points this season. But he refuses to point the finger at Cort, showing the same backing he offered strike partner Kenny Miller when he was firing blanks earlier in the season.
Instead, the Wolves boss argues that scoring goals is the responsibility of the entire team. "Carl Cort had two wonderful chances and should have scored," said Hoddle. "But he's the top scorer in the league, so he must be doing something right.
"There's no blame on Carl. Nobody means to miss chances, but we have got to start taking them if we're to have a good season. That's the part of the jigsaw we've got to get right and it's not just the strikers. We've not scored a goal in the league from midfield.
"Young Mark Davies did very well on his first league start, but he might have won the game for us if his first touch had not let him down right at the end. He's only 17 and he'll learn from that just how minuscule the dividing line is at this level but, if his first touch is right, he scores."
Despite keeping his players in the dressing room for a
significant time after the final whistle and being more than half-an-hour late for his postmatch press conference, Hoddle insisted: "There was no rollicking after that performance. It's not that we're not playing well enough.
"It's just that, as anyone who's played the game will tell you, the hardest thing to do in football is put the ball in the back of the net.
"Even in the games we've won, like against Queens Park Rangers and Hull City, there were too many missed chances. We're shooting ourselves in the foot by not finishing teams off." n Chester City manager Keith Curle has offered free tickets to his team's next home game to any supporters who wish to complain about Tuesday's 3-0 LDV Vans Trophy defeat at Conference club Cambridge United.
Curle made nine changes to the team which won 3-1 at Barnet in League Two on Saturday but insisted the team he put out should have competed far better. "I put 11 professional players out and their performance was unacceptable," said the former Wolves defender.
"All I can stress is that I was very disappointed. If any of the Chester supporters who travelled down to Cambridge would contact me, I will ensure they will receive a free ticket for our next home game."