Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce admitted the players have been letting John Dempster down and should produce the performance their new manager deserves against visiting Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
Dempster has seen his new charges win only once in eight games in an August hit by injury and suspension and Pearce said: “Everyone knows that the standards need to go up,
“The gaffer does everything for us, so we need to back him and really put in a performance that he deserves.
“We know we have been letting him down. It’s been tough for him as well because of the red cards and injuries to key players.
“It’s been hard for him to name the same XI every week. So it’s down to us to put that right and put in the performances.
“It’s hard to say he can do any more as he is literally doing everything he can – so I think as players, we need to do more.”
Pearce. 29, said it was still early days and there were plenty of points on offer to reach their promotion goal.
“The first month is always up and down,” he said. “Bury and Tranmere, who both got promoted last season, had worst starts than we had. They ended the campaign successfully. So we have got to do the same and pick up.
“Results often fluctuate for teams at the start of a season. But once the first month or so is out the way you can get into a rhythm, get your squad flowing and start playing proper football.
“Personally I think I can do more. I can do better. But as a group we need to improve all over the pitch.
“We need to do the basics better and attend to the finer details – that will make the big difference ultimately. We need to improve concentration levels.”
Pearce held his hands up as being responsible for the only goal in Exeter City’s 1-0 win last weekend when Stags were caught napping from a quick throw-in.
“Obviously it was always going to be a tough away game, playing top of the league away from home,” he said. “They are a good side and top for a reason.
“But as players, we know it was a sloppy goal to concede.
“I hold myself responsible for the goal, because I should be checking over my shoulders and seeing what’s around me. I should know better and do better.
“Whenever I concede a goal, I’m always analysing how I could improve and what I could have done differently.
“On that goal I could have checked my shoulder early and been in a better position. I can hold my hands up and say I should do better in that situation.
“It may seem like a small thing, checking over my shoulder, but if I had seen him there I could have adjusted and dealt with the situation.”
He added: “If we had not conceded that goal we would have got at least a 0-0 draw and come away with a good point away from home.
“It’s not major things that need changing. It’s about getting those finer details right overall – I think those small details will make a massive difference. That is something we are looking to put right.
“I am always my own biggest critic, so I will always be harder on myself than others will be. It’s something that I, as captain, am trying to put right. We have not kept as many clean sheets as I would have hoped.”