Markus Schopp says Barnsley are in a 'really really tough situation' after losing a fourth straight match in a 1-0 defeat at Reading while admitting: 'it cannot go on longer like this.'
The Reds created several chances but conceded in the 77th minute to John Swift as their winless run stretched to ten games and they remained in the relegation zone.
Schopp said: "We lost a game we probably shouldn't have lost. I saw a Barnsley team that tried their best in a difficult situation. When you are in a situation like we are, it's not easy.
"It cannot go on longer like this but, for me, this run never should have started. Right now we are not getting the reward for what we're investing. If we don't only focus on the result, we can pick out things that are going better. A couple of things were really good but it is always tough when you don't have the points."
Barnsley have now scored just twice in seven games since August. Callum Brittain hit the post while Aaron Leya Iseka and Victor Adeboyejo missed big chances and Cauley Woodrow drew three saves from long-range shots. Schopp said: "It's a film I have already seen so many times. Scoring for us is a really tough one.
"It is one thing to get into the finishing area but we all know how it works. We are going to get one goal and we don't know how we got it, then it will be easier. The way to get there is to create as much as possible. We have to create much more than we did today.
"You saw what the lads tried to do. They invested a lot but didn't get the benefit. It is our goal now to give them feedback and tell them it is only small things."
Many of the Barnsley fans appeared to stay to clap the players off after the final whistle in Berkshire.
Schopp said: "For the fans, it is frustrating like for all of us. But there is nobody else who can solve the problem apart from the staff and players.
"There were a lot of things that were good but it wasn't good enough. It is a really really tough situation but we are not that far from getting out. We just have to work more."
Schopp said the crucial moment was when central midfielder Romal Palmer had to come off, with what appeared to be a knock, and – with Josh Benson and Callum Styles injured – Will Hondermarck replaced him, with the goal arriving five minutes later. Schopp said: "After 60 or 70 minutes we have a situation where we are struggling in midfield and we have to make a sub so we lose organisation for a couple of minutes and this is enough for Reading to beat us. A couple of guys have to understand how important they are important for us and, if they can't do it any more, we have to have a better bench."
Styles and Liam Kitching both missed the match through injury.
"Both had problems after the last game and we didn't want to risk them. With Liam, I am not positive that we will be back in the next couple of days, With Stylesy, it looks better. I hope he can play the next game but I don't know yet."
Defender Michal Helik added: "I think we improved if you compare it to our last performances, but it is still not enough. It's so annoying because we want to break the run of results. We deserved more but it's so disappointing for us and our fans because it's so important to start winning."