Glenn Loovens is demanding an instant response from his Sheffield Wednesday teammates after their home loss to table-topping Watford.
Stuart Gray’s men slumped to their second Hillsborough loss of the campaign after goals by Odion Ighalo, Almen Abdi and Matej Vydra.
Defeat extends the Owls’ winless run to five matches in all competitions ahead of tomorrow’s trip to 10th-placed Brentford, who are a point and a place above Wednesday in the standings.
Loovens said their first-half performance was “poor” versus Watford and admits they were “second best” for the majority of the contest.
“I don’t believe they wanted it more than us,” the centre-back insisted. “Watford are a good side so you have to give them credit. We can do better than what we showed, especially in the first half.
“But they will be up there at the end of the season. I’m sure of that. We were second best all over the pitch. There were too many who had off days. I think we have to look in the mirror. Everybody knows what they do on the pitch. There were too many players not at it.
“We should not dwell on it too much. We have been doing really well. Let’s hope Watford was an off day and we get back to winning ways on Tuesday against Brentford. We have to pick ourselves up and produce a better performance.”
Sam Hutchinson made his first appearance since mid-August after shaking off a back problem.
However, he limped off after six minutes with a knee injury. Wednesday’s medical team are currently assessing the severity of the midfielder’s problem and there are fears the 25-year-old may be out of action for another lengthy period.
Gray said: “Sam’s gone up for a header and rocked his knee a little when he landed and had to come off. I’m really disappointed for the boy because all he wants to do is play football.”
Meanwhile, Lewis Buxton tweaked his knee in training last Friday and Gray is unsure how long the defender will be out of action for.