Birmingham boss Alex McLeish admitted his side wasted a golden opportunity to claim second spot in the Championship after a 2-0 defeat at 10-man Blackpool.
Victory would have lifted McLeish's side above Reading and into the automatic promotion places, but first-half strikes from former Blues striker DJ Campbell and midfielder Keith Southern sealed their fate.
Not even the 74th-minute dismissal of substitute Claus Jorgensen - following an off-the-ball challenge on Lee Bowyer which left the former Leeds midfielder needing treatment - could spark Birmingham into life.
"It's a lost opportunity but there are a lot of games left and I don't think it's time to press the panic button," McLeish said.
"We're disappointed but we've got to show perseverance and some of the players must realise that they've got to give us a lot more than they've given us today.
"There are no excuses and, as a team with our aspirations, the players know they have to do much better than that.
"The lack of goals is a concern but I felt the real problem today was the long ball over the top, which we struggled to cope with."
Birmingham created next to nothing throughout as their winless run in all competitions extended to four games, leaving McLeish wanting more firepower upfront as he bids to bounce back from last season's relegation.
On Honduran target Carlos Costly, the Scotsman added: "He's a target man and if we can get him I'd like to think he can bring something to the team as he's quite prominent in the Honduras national side."
Meanwhile, Blackpool's determined performance deserved the three points and a first win since late December when Tony Parkes and Steve Thompson were placed in caretaker charge.
The Seasiders were first to every ball in the opening period with nobody more impressive for Blackpool than Campbell.
The diminutive striker, who spent 18 months at St Andrews between January 2006 and July 2007, is on loan at Bloomfield Road from League One leaders Leicester until the end of the season.
Having scored on his Tangerines debut in last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Coventry, Campbell was on the mark again as he sliced open the Blues defence to head home in the 13th minute.
Southern added a second in the 37th minute, firing home from 25 yards to give the caretaker bosses a boost in their bid to secure the job on a permanent basis.
Parkes said: "You need victories if you want to get the job and this was a big victory against one of the top sides in the division.
"It was well deserved because they didn't have too many chances and when we went down to 10 men we battled hard and hung on for the result."
Parkes paid special tribute to Campbell, adding: "That's two in two for him and he's lively, sharp and works hard on and off the ball.
"He had another outstanding game and was a constant thorn in their side.
"What does he gives us? Goals - and he will give centre-halves nightmares as well."