JAY McEveley admitted that Swindon Town took half an hour to get started on Saturday, as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Carlisle United.
The Robins lost a League One fixture for the first time in five outings, with Gary Madine netting the winner for the Cumbrians in the 37th minute at Brunton Park.
After the game, McEveley conceded that Town were far too slow to get into their stride, allowing their struggling hosts a foothold in the game and ultimately the goal that settled the contest.
He said: “It’s very frustrating. If we didn’t have those 25 or 30 minutes in the first half where I think a lot of people were still on the coach and they nicked a goal, they wouldn’t have had something to defend.
“If we were alive and sharp from the first minute it could have been different. They were very compact and you could see in the second half how much they wanted to hold out for that win.
“They had 11 men behind the ball and they were difficult to break down. We had a lot of chances but it wasn’t our day.
“They sort of sat back and when we did get around the box they were able to snuff it out. We had a couple of shots and maybe you could argue that we should have done better but if you don’t turn up for the first half-hour you don’t deserve anything.
“If you start the way we usually start, or the way we played in the second half, there are times in the 60th or 70th minute when teams are knackered because they’re chasing the ball and that leaves gaps. That makes the end product easier. When you give them something to defend and to hold onto to it’s harder.
“It’s a funny old game. We were probably on the back foot for the last 20 minutes against Preston and the second half against Sheffield United and we ended up in front. Here we had loads of possession and got beat. I’d rather have had the other games to be honest with you.”
McEveley’s contact is up at the end of the season but he reaffirmed the fact that no negotiations on a potential new deal have yet to get under way, saying: “Not yet, no. I don’t think there have been any discussions yet so we’ll just see how it goes.”