Worcester Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan gave a frank assessment of his team's fortunes after their 16-11 loss to Newcastle.
Mooted by many as an early relegation clash, the Falcons raced into a 10-0 lead after ten minutes to put them in the driving seat at Sixways.
The loss was Worcester's fifth loss from the opening five matches this season since Ryan took over the helm, leaving Worcester six points adrift at the bottom of the table with Exeter to play on Sunday.
"It's pretty obvious that losing games, and in the manner we lost today and against London Irish, saps confidence, but we can only control ourselves," said Ryan.
"I am not going to get into the excuse culture.
"We can't buy a win at the moment. The challenge here is to be competitive regularly. There have been times when we haven't been, and at times we were today. We've got to get better at managing things.
"We haven't got a group that is confident week in, week out of getting all those pieces of the jigsaw right.
"I know what everyone is writing about us - and after five games we probably deserve that - but we have just got to get back to work and look at being a little bit better.
"With that sort of field position and those kind of opportunities we had today, we should be generating more scores and better management to get the win.
"We are not a side that is full of confidence. We have lost five games this season. We are not going to pretend that we are brimful of confidence after five losses, but we have got to work our way through it.
"We are not a side at the moment that can run from our own 22 and put a side under pressure - it puts us under pressure. So we've got to find a balance of what we kick versus what we play with."