Aston Villa manager David O'Leary described his side's performance as "not good enough" after they slumped to a 3-2 home defeat to fellow strugglers Middlesbrough.
In front of Villa Park's lowest league crowd since Portsmouth's visit attracted just 28,625 for a night match in January 2004, O'Leary heard his side booed off.
Yesterday's 29,719 attendance was an embarrassing 8,000 down on last term's Villa Park Premiership average - the sort of worrying trend to raise the eyebrows not only of the club's current owners, but any future buyers too.
Perhaps worse still, yesterday's first home reverse of the season saw Villa dip to 16th, their lowest league placing since December 2003.
They are now on the same six-point rung as their next opponents, Birmingham City, and just one ahead of their other West Midland neighbours, next-to-bottom West Bromwich Albion. And, although he is missing half a team following a glut of injuries, Villa boss O'Leary admitted: " There's no excuses.
"The fans will voice their opinion as they have today and tell you 'that's not good enough' and it wasn't good enough.
"I set my teams up to entertain and we didn't do that.
"It's been mentioned that we've got four or five important players missing who'd go straight in the team but the team we had out there today should still give a lot better performance than that.
"If you keep giving goals away then you are asking for trouble.
"I know if we get all our players back fit then we are good enough but we don't want to be just a 'good enough' team on paper. We need to be a 'good enough' team to go out and do it on the pitch.
"And I still think we could have done a lot better with what we've got."
O'Leary saw his side stretch their sorry run to just one win in 13 Premiership matches, a sequence going back to mid-April. But he did not hide behind the lack of passion generated by Villa's lowest crowd for a day-time match since 29,898 turned up in November 2003.
That was also a home defeat to Middlesbrough who, to be fair, do not have the biggest away following.
After O'Leary himself pointed out only last week just how much gates have improved since he arrived, it is ironic that yesterday's attendance tumbled to below the level when Villa were flirting with the relegation zone during the first four months of his reign.
"The whole day was flat," said O'Leary. "And both teams played that way. There was no zip about it.
"There was a nervousness about our players and a failure to accept responsibility.
"But, no matter who you play against, if you give other teams goals, you're asking for trouble. We gifted Wycombe goals and dug ourselves out of trouble last week. But, if we keep giving them away like that, we'll make life very hard for ourselves."
Freddie Bouma's poorly directed first-half header, to set up the first of Boro striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu's two goals, was the most glaring error. But what upset O'Leary most was to see his side recover to equalise after the break, yet still throw it away.
"Our best period was the ten minutes after we got the equaliser," he said. "Patrik Berger hit the post, then they've gone down the other end, we've defended a corner poorly and gifted them another goal out of nothing.
"Then, for their third goal, we're on the edge of their box and we end up gifting them a penalty.
"Steve McClaren might come in and give it a bit of a spin, but he knows they came here for a draw, played with one up and anything they got after that was a bonus.
"But it's our patch, and it's down to us and to go and sort it out and do the business. And we've gifted them three goals.
"I thought Olof Mellberg played well at the back and Luke Moore scored another good goal but, apart from that, there were no pluses."