Bristol Rovers boss John Ward was concerned by his side's lack of confidence as they went down 3-1 at promotion-hopefuls Fleetwood.
Mistakes at the back cost the Pirates dear and they were 3-0 down within 51 minutes - Antoni Sarcevic, Mark Roberts and David Ball all on target for the hosts - before substitute Ellis Harrison pulled one back as Fleetwood took their foot off the gas.
Ward said: "I'm disappointed because we've looked a little bit hesitant, a little bit uncertain and we've lacked confidence.
"We started pretty well in terms of that.
"I thought there were two teams fighting for form and the first strike was going to be important.
"What has been our strength this season - our defending has let us down. I won't say the goals are self inflicted but we could have dealt with them better. We've offered a team who were wobbling a bit a lifeline.
"The boys have tried hard, I stand by my team. If they weren't fighting we'd have been beaten eight or nine, but it's just that lack of confidence."