Spalding United manager Chris Rawlinson delivered an honest assessment after a third home league defeat of the season.
The Tulips slipped to ninth place in the Evo-Stik South after losing 2-1 to Carlton Town on Saturday at the Sir Halley Stewart Field.
Striker Ben Davison scored on his debut after signing from Boston Town.
Rawlinson admitted: “We were not good enough and conceding goals from two set-plays was poor.
“We’re starting to see the way the club is now. When we get injuries, we can’t go out and bring in expensive new signings like we did last season.
“We’re having to look at the under-21s and, unfortunately, the squad is not big enough to cope when a few players are missing.
I’ll hold my hands up as the manager. The players will need to stand up as well with no excuses about those who are missing games.Chris Rawlinson
“Davison was absolutely superb and he got a goal.
“But when we are without Neal Spafford, Jamie Jackson and Gary King, we look way off.
“We will be a mid-table side, to be honest, and that’s not lacking ambition or being defeatist.
“We’ve lost three out of five league games so we’ve got to be a lot better even to stay in the top half of the table.
“We flattered to deceive a little bit against Carlton and we created nothing.
“At the moment, we are pretty bang average. This is a tough league where anyone can beat anyone so there are no easy games.
“We missed a spark up front when Jackson may have created something out of nothing or King could have got a goal out of the blue.
“We weren’t awful. But we didn’t do enough to win this game.
“I’ll hold my hands up as the manager. The players will need to stand up as well with no excuses about those who are missing games.
“I wasn’t pleased with that performance. Players who have been at this level for a long time need to do better.”