Gary Roberts feels Wigan Athletic are paying a high price for individual errors that are undoing much of the good work the team is producing.
Latics once again pressed the self-destruct button at Middlesbrough on Saturday, with both goals certainly coming in the ‘preventable’ category.
And Roberts feels the 2-0 scoreline - Wigan’s fourth defeat in a row - wasn’t a totally accurate reflection of the game as a whole.
“I thought for large parts of the game we did really well,” he told the Wigan Post.
“And without singling anyone out, individual mistakes have killed us against the top teams lately.
“The higher up you go, the more you get punished for your mistakes.
“And we’ve seen that time and time again in recent weeks.
“I really don’t think our general play was that bad against Middlesbrough.
“I thought we had a lot of the ball, in good areas, and caused a good side a lot of problems.
“But when you’re giving good sides, who are stubborn and strong, one and two-goal leads, you are going to struggle.”
Middlesbrough became the third team in succession - for a few moments at least, until Norwich’s stoppage-time winner - to take over leadership of the Championship after beating Latics, following in the footsteps of Leeds and Sheffield United.
And Roberts acknowledges the side is doing it tough at the moment, especially given the long-term injury-enforced absence of Will Grigg, Michael Jacobs, Gavin Massey and Chey Dunkley.
“It never rains but it pours, and it’s been a horrendous run of fixtures,” added Roberts, who himself was only passed fit late following a muscle problem.
“But at the same time that’s why we fought so hard to get up to this level.
“Our fans want to be involved in these big games, we as players certainly do, and we can’t be moaning and groaning.
“As a player you want to test yourself against the best players and the best teams.
“We do need to be a little bit better in our play, and do more justice to ourselves as a team.”