HE'S been in the business for more than 20 years but Wrexham goalkeeper Andy Dibble can't ever remember conceding a total of eight goals in consecutive games.
The 39-year old veteran found himself in the firing line for a 3-0 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons before picking the ball out of the net on no fewer than five occcasions last Saturday - the result of a woeful defensive display against Hartlepool United.
"They always make cracks about goal-keepers having backache but it was close to the truth last Saturday," he joked.
"On a more serious note, it's unusual for us because we like to think we have been pretty good from a defensive point of view this season."
Dibble, who returned to first-team duty three weeks ago after a two-month lay-off with a hand injury, said he had examined his own personal performance in detail and remained confident in his ability to do the job.
"I feel fine, it's just one of those things," he added..
"If I thought my form had suffered and I had to hold my hands up I would be the first to admit it, but I don't think I could have done any more.
"Quite what the problem has been in the last two matches is difficult to pin down, but it's something we'll have to deal with collectively as a team.
"Perhaps our play against Hartlepool bordered on the kamikaze at times, and if you look at the goals they scored it's very unusual for me to face a one-on-one situation in a game normally.
"On Saturday it happened maybe four times and I think all their goals were scored from inside the penalty box."
But Dibble has now turned his attention towards the next game, at Bradford City on Boxing Day, and he admitted that two straight defeats had put the Dragons under increased pressure for the often-crucial holiday programme of four matches in eight days.
"It's going to be a massive week for us," he said..
"We've had 10 points deducted through no fault of our own as players, but it's up to us to make sure we start moving away from the wrong end of the table.
"We beat Bradford at the Race-course earlier in the season, and even up to the game when I was injured at Tranmere we were pushing for the play-offs.
"We've had a lot of injuries to contend with since then, which haven't helped.
"But a few of the lads, including myself, are coming back now, so we have every reason to feel confident we can kick on in the second half of the season," the goal-keeper added.
"Obviously, though, we need to start doing that sooner rather than later and, despite what's happened recently, I think we are capable of giving a good account of ourselves on Sunday."
Sunday's opponents have twice been in adminstration, in May 2002 and February this year, emerging from the second spell earlier this month.
They have announced that they will give Wrexham a donation equivalent to the gate money paid by the number in excess of 600 travelling Dragons supporters - a gesture welcomed by Race-course boss, Denis Smith.
"It's a great gesture by Bradford, who have been through administration twice before but without losing 10 points," he said.
"It goes to show there is a lot of goodwill out there towards Wrexham.
"I hope our fans turn up in the right sort of numbers to make it a worthwhile fund-raising effort for us."
Smith, though, had more problems to confront yesterday when physiotherapist Mel Pejic went down with flu, suggesting he might be absent for the remainder of the week.
"As soon as one thing sorts itself out, another comes along to bring more complications," he added..
"It's very frustrating at the moment but we can't allow that to get us down.
"It's my job to keep everyone bubbly but there's always a stage of who motivates the motivator.
"All I seem to be doing is putting out fires instead of being involved in positive work on the training field."