It is not often that Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill and his captain Gareth Barry disagree on football matters but their opinions differ over who should take the blame for the home defeat to Sunderland.
The manager said it was down to him to rectify a poor run of form that has seen his side slump from front runners to outsiders for the right to play in Europe next season.
His captain sees things differently: As far as he is concerned, the team will shoulder the blame for the club's recent run.
O'Neill could offer neither an excuse nor a valid reason for his side's failure to score on home soil for the first time this season and, in the process, losing to a side they should have beaten. In contrast, Barry's diagnosis was simple: There were too many simple errors compounded by a lack of creativity.
Goalkeeper Scott Carson had another poor game and, perhaps more worrying for Villa fans, is the captain's contention that Premier League defences have worked out a way of combating the respective threats of Gabby Agbonlahor and Ashley Young.
When asked if more opponents had become wise to the England duo, Barry said: "People are starting to get to know them but they've both had fantastic seasons. It's their second season and they've done it again. They'll bounce back once the team starts winning again. It's about the team, not just those two."
Defeat to Sunderland was the fourth game in succession that Villa have failed to take maximum points. Their recent run of two points from 12 is not the sort of form required when chasing Europe, a challenge that seems to be faltering by the week.
Barry said: "Saturday was a big blow. We have got to take a look at ourselves because that's three games in a row that we have dropped points. If the players are tired, they haven't mentioned it; it would be too easy to use that as an excuse.
"We played okay but the goals we are conceding are hurting us because they're simple mistakes that we should be dealing with. At the other end, we're not creating that much, although there were a couple that just went the wrong side of the post. On another day, it could have gone differently."
More question marks were raised over the performance of Carson, who will be with the England squad this week, over his indecision about how to confront Black Cats striker Michael Chopra as he closed in on goal to score the visitors' winner.
To say his attempt was unconvincing would be kind; after gifting Jermain Defoe the chance to lob him against Portsmouth last week, he offered Chopra a similarly easy option and the striker needed no second invitation.
Barry, diplomatically, said: "Last week may have been in the back of his mind. Maybe he thought about coming out, then stopped but we'll take responsibility for the goal as a team and not just Scott."
Despite a recent poor run, Villa remain seventh, eight points adrift of Everton in fifth and one behind Portsmouth. The race for the European places seems won but Barry believes that a favourable run-in, coupled with a Pompey side with one eye on the FA Cup, keeps the coveted spots within reach.
"We can still qualify," he said. "We know, and the manager knows, it only takes one game to turn it around. Everyone's looking [at our fixtures] and saying 'Manchester United, that's the worst possible next game', but we'll go there on Saturday with nothing to lose and maybe it will be a better game for us to have than a home game against a team battling for survival.
"Getting the eight points to fifth place is a big gap to make up and that will take some doing but we've applied for the InterToto Cup and we have to finish as high as we can because other teams have applied as well and there's only one place available."