Adelaide United defender Tarek Elrich says the Reds are "so easy to beat now" after their 5-0 loss to Perth Glory in Friday Night Football at Coopers Stadium.
On a hot night in Adelaide - which prompted a delayed kick off by an hour - Glory started in style to outclass the Reds who remain firmly anchored to the bottom of the table.
With an ACL campaign kicking off this month, United are now five points behind the Mariners in ninth spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
And Paul Okon's men could extend that difference to eight points after they face Wanderers on Sunday.
“It’s just not good enough,” a dejected Elrich told SBS TV.
“I feel sorry for the 6000 that came out tonight and for our club.
“We’ve come off a great season last year and this year is just a total opposite.
“I can’t even put it into words. It’s very disappointing. I can’t explain it. It is what it is.
“But obviously the results aren’t good enough.
“We think we’re a chance but we’re so easy to beat now.”
The Reds, to their credit, never stopped battling and in Riley McGree and Ben Garuccio they had two young players who added a spark going forward.
Elrich added the Reds were fired up at half time after going in 3-0 down - though their coach Gui Amor remained calm.
“He is probably the calmest bloke I’ve come across. Even at half time we came in screaming and angry and he comes in very calm and collected.”
Due to the heat, the game’s kick off was delayed by an hour with two drinks breaks added to the proceedings.
The Reds face the Jets at home next Friday night.