KENNY SHIELS accepts his side must take the 'justified criticism' after slumping to a demoralising defeat to Waterford at the Regional Sports Centre.
The Derry City boss, who was overseeing his 100th game in charge of the Candy Stripes, was hugely disappointed as his lacklustre side were rolled over by a dominant Waterford team which moved six points clear in third spot following the 4-0 win.
Shiels was frustrated with the manner of the two goals conceded from set-pieces in the opening 15 minutes and conceded it was his responsibility to address the team's worrying defensive concerns.
"We had a good run and we took the plaudits for that period and now we have to take the criticism and justified too, we have to take the criticism," said Shiels. "I'm very disappointed. Two set pieces gave away two goals. They had lost a couple of games in succession and they needed that and they got that. Those goals gave them the impetus to go on and win the game.
"You give instructions out and people are delegated very detailed specifics on who is picking up who and for some reason they weren't able to take that information on board," he added.
When Sander Puri's blistering strike from 35 yards hit the top corner of the net to make it 3-0 on 40 minutes the match was over as a contest.
"It was hard to take," added Shiels of Waterford's third strike. "We couldn't get pressure on the ball, I don't know why but it was a good strike. I thought we could've done more in the second half and for the first 25 minutes we gave it a whimper but not enough and they went out worthy winners."
The midseason break can't come quick enough for Shiels who has had to deal with strikers, John Cofie and Nathan Boyle leaving the club this week but he claims he's already lined up replacements when the transfer window opens.
""It's up to me to address the problems and try and get us back to winning ways. We need to work with commitment and provide a good work ethic for the players to get ourselves turned around again. It's not easy in football to do that but we'll work as hard as we can that's all it takes is hard work.
"There's a couple (players) coming in July so we'll try get that sorted if we can," concluded Shiels when questioned about strengthening his thin-bare squad.