Jon McCarthy admitted Chester FC deserved the criticism that will come their way after their desperately poor home form continued with a 2-0 defeat to relegation-threatened York City.
Goals either side of half-time from Vadaine Oliver and Danny Holmes condemned Chester to a sixth straight loss in front of their own supporters.
A run of three successive away wins means it remains highly unlikely the Blues will be dragged into a relegation scrap for the second season running.
But the disappointment among the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium faithful, who have not seen their side win in four months, was audible at the end of a match to forget.
McCarthy could understand the frustration and stated that the vast majority of his players' performances had fallen below the required standard.
But, a year on from being parachuted into the Chester hotseat , he refused to go overboard in light of the fact that they have all but achieved the club's pre-season aim of survival.
McCarthy, who has now taken charge of 45 league games, over which time he has accrued 61 points, said: "We made it far too easier for them.
"We've haven't had a performance from hardly any (of our players). I think you could single out Sam Hughes.
"That's not me criticising my players because I'm putting it right at the beginning how well they've done for me this season.
"But if we're going to get better we have to turn out for every minute of every match. We've got it right for most of the season but we have to take the criticism that comes our way today. It wasn't a good performance and that's what I told the players.
"But what I don't get is going in there and caning them, and draining their confidence, as in terms of the context of the league, and what we were given to do, if you look over the games, their levels of performances have been good enough.
"I'm never going to turn on my players, because they're the ones who have gone out and done it for me all season, and they're the ones who have got to do it for me next week.
"We're realistic with each other. We apologise for the performance, it disappoints me, and we are sorry about it.
"We've just got to go away and work hard and try and make it better."
The Blues, who have slipped to 14th, travel to table-topping Lincoln City on Tuesday (7.45pm).
They will have do without on-loan winger Danny O'Brien, who has been recalled by Wigan Athletic ahead of a move to Finland.