Seb Hayes has dismissed the championship chances for Holbeach United.
The Tigers produced a poor performance on Saturday as the manager completed his five-game stadium ban for foul and abusive language to a match official.
Assistant Tim Cole and former Oakham United boss Wayne Oldaker took charge of the 1-0 defeat at Cogenhoe United.
Hayes felt “disgusted, angry and frustrated” after the Tigers’ mini unbeaten run was ended at Compton Park.
Holbeach remain fifth in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League’s Premier Division – nine points behind leaders Yaxley with four games in hand.
Hayes will be back on the touchline on Tuesday night away to his former club Peterborough Northern Star.
We were rubbish from start to finish on Saturday. I don’t think we did anything positive – it was poor.Seb Hayes
The Tigers boss admitted: “That’s it now – we won’t win the title because there is no hunger in the team.
“We can’t catch Yaxley. We have games in hand but we have no chance because we are massively out of form at the business end of the year.
“Mathematically, of course it’s possible. But we would have to win eight out of the next nine games.
“We would need to beat Wisbech Town and Newport Pagnell Town at home plus Eynesbury Rovers away. On current form, we won’t take any points at all.
“We were unbeaten in five before Saturday but our form is terrible. We’ve scored late winners and we haven’t been convincing at all.
“We have to look at the top five which was our aim from the start of this season.
“I never wanted to say we were title contenders as I felt we were always short in a couple of areas. The work ethic is missing.
“We struggle against teams in eighth to 15th but we’ve taken points off the top sides.
“Generally, we have turned up for the big games.
“There were two away games where we let ourselves down. Deeping Rangers were too good for us and we went down to 10 men at Wisbech on Boxing Day.
“Other than those games, we have proved we can do it by winning at Newport Pagnell and Yaxley.
“We were rubbish from start to finish on Saturday.
“I don’t think we did anything positive – it was poor.
“At the end, Will Bird had a chance at the back post from a corner but he wasn’t brave enough.
“Luke Avis had more time with a first-half chance when he hit it straight at the keeper.
“There was no movement from the forwards during the game so they didn’t make the defenders work hard.
“Cogenhoe’s striker held up the ball and fought for it. We didn’t do any of that.
“We tried everything with changes of formation but the players didn’t do enough to make it work.
“We matched Cogenhoe for work-rate but you need to be better to beat them.
“We trained twice last week and it was positive. We worked on crossing the ball, getting into the final third and creating chances. Then in the game on Saturday, we only lumped the ball forward.
“We lost count how many times we hit the ball straight to Cogenhoe’s centre-half who must be 6ft 4in.”