MALKY Mackay bemoaned his Wigan Athletic side being found wanting at both ends of the park during the 2-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Latics were on top for the majority of the game at Hillsborough, and scored the all-important opening goal through Chris McCann just before the half-hour mark.
But a defensive mix-up led to struggling Wednesday equalising within a minute - their first goal in 360 minutes of football.
And after the visitors created and squandered a succession of decent opportunities, Steve May popped up with his second goal 19 minutes from time to secure all three points.
“We had chances in the first half and we had chances in the second half, and we couldn’t take them,” Mackay reflected.
“Against Middlesbrough last week we had five terrific chances inside their six-yard box, and three or four again today.
“But that’s why we are where we are in the league.
“We’re making silly mistakes at the back and not scoring goals at the other end.
“We’ll gradually change that, but I have nothing but praise for the players at the end because of the way they applied themselves.
“They know themselves of the mistakes, but we need more of a steely side about us and we’ll address that in training.
“When you have a lone striker you have to make sure you get bodies up alongside him. I think in these two games we’ve managed to do that, and that’s why we are creating as many chances as we are.
“We just need to finish those off, and that will change when they get a lot more confidence.”
Mackay felt Latics shot themselves in the foot by failing to hold on to their lead for more than a minute.
“It’s something we need to work on in terms of game management,” he recognised. “We need to be better at that. Up to that point I was feeling pretty comfortable, having scored the opening goal.
“But a really poor piece of play from us at the back, with three players going for the same ball, allows their centre-forward to be standing on his own five yards out.
“That’s not something that should be happening at this level, and it’s something we’ll work on.”
Latics suffered a blow on the morning of the game with in-form playmaker Shaun Maloney pulling out through illness.
“We lost Shaun Maloney to illness, which was disappointing,” Mackay acknowledged.
“Shaun was desperate to play, but honest enough to say to me that if he had to track someone at the end he wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Mackay also revealed the half-time withdrawal of centre-back Ivan Ramis was ‘purely tactical’, with no injuries picked up from the outing.