Jimmy Ryan admits Accrington Stanley have "fallen to bits" but says they are determined to turn it around before the season ends.
One point out of 24 has seen the Reds slip from play-off contenders into the bottom half of the table and they have a winless run of eight games - their worst since they came into the league is 10 league games without a victory in 2006/7.
Midfielder Ryan doesn’t know why things have gone so wrong for the Reds but hopes the longed-for three points can come tomorrow at Crewe to boost them going into next season’s campaign.
"We have fallen to bits and no one knows why," said the 21-year-old. "People say we aren’t trying as hard but I can assure everyone that we are, the players are working hard but things are just not going our way
"Others are saying it’s the pitch but the pitch is the same for both teams.
"And then some are pointing to the fact we have played 50-odd games this season and that’s taking its toll.
"But I don’t think that’s the reason either. We have some young players who perhaps haven’t played so many games before but other teams have played a lot of games - like Notts County who had a good FA¿Cup run - and they are still okay.
"We obviously aren’t as fresh as the start of the season and you do feel tired but I think, when you are losing all the time, it makes you feel a lot worse and it makes you feel even more tired.
"I don’t know why we have been on this run. This season has been a lot of ups and downs on and off the pitch. But, even when there was trouble off the pitch with the club in the High Court, we were doing well and getting the wins.
"The club is fine now yet our form has taken a dip and we need a win to kick start us. Looking back there are games that we really should have won and I think, if we had beat Rochdale, it would have been different."
Rochdale was the start of the eight game run after the Reds squandered a two-goal lead to lose and they did the same againststruggling Grimsby.
"When we went 2-0 up against Grimsby, perhaps earlier in the season, we would have thought that’s it and held onto the win. But, because of what happened against Rochdale when they came back, these things do play on your mind and get into your brain and we have got to snap out of it.
"If we had beaten Rochdale, we wouldn’t have lost to Grimsby.
"Once you get a run of wins, like we did in December, we had the belief we would keep winning and it snowballed.
"But once we lost to Rochdale, we have gone on a losing streak and that too can snowball and we are stuck in a rut at the moment.
"But we need to end on a high as losing more games will spoil what has been a good season. I think one win would kick us on in the final games and that’s the first aim."
Ryan, who has scored four goals this season but has been playing on the right in recent games rather than his usual central midfield role, admits that he did believe the Reds could seal a fourth promotion under John Coleman this season.
"I remember, around Christmas we were close to the play-offs with games in hand and perhaps we got a little carried away, but me and some of the lads were even talking about automatic promotion.
"We look stupid now saying that judging by how far we have fallen but it’s frustrating because we know how we can play and we are just not showing it. We are not taking our chances and we are just not being clinical like we were at the start of the season."
Ryan has a year left on his contract along with Chris Turner, Andy Procter and Phil Edwards.
"It is good not to be worrying about a contract but, no matter what, you always want to do well and play to your best every game," said the Liverpudlian.
"I am secure for another year and I hope I can help the club get into the play-offs next season."
He admitted, while the players are hurting, the manager is hurting more.
He added: "The gaffer is disappointed and he has different ways of showing it. He is generally a positive person and he does know what a good season we have had but now he is frustrated with the way we are playing so who can blame him? So we need to try and make him happy again."
l JOHN Coleman’s three-year new contract is still to be finalised, despite managing director Dave O’Neill confident that it would be signed last week.
l EX-Red Ian Craney has been released from his contract at Huddersfield. The 27-year-old had been on loan at Morecambe but suffered an ankle injury and had a double hernia operation this season.