Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton says he feels for his players, after they didn't get the results that their performances have merited in the last two games, against Ipswich Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Speaking after today's 1-0 defeat to Wolves at the Amex, the Seagulls boss praised his side's character and says they have not had the rub of the green over the festive period.
Hughton said, "It has been tough. We have a lot of players who played a lot of games and we are stretched, but I absolutely couldn't fault the effort and the commitment from them and that makes it hard to take.
"I would be the first person to say if the performances were not there, but I cannot walk into the changing room and be too critical of them. The only thing I can say is that we need to make sure that we are getting better opportunities to score goals than we currently are.
"There are very small margins at either end. We have certainly played games this season with less possession and perhaps a lesser performance than against Wolves today, and the margins have gone our way. That's football though and that is how tough the Championship is. We have to find a way to get back to winning ways."
Hughton welcomed an 11-day break from Championship action. He still has seven senior players out injured, but the trio of Sam Baldock, Kazenga LuaLua and Gordon Greer are aiming to be fit for next weekend's FA Cup tie at Hull City, while new signings Liam Ridgewell and Richie Towell will also be available for that match.
With the transfer window opening at midnight tonight, he also says the club will be working as hard as possible to strengthen the squad for the second half of the campaign.
He added, "You will see a club working as hard as it can to bring in the players that we want. We are conscious that we have had injuries and that we have players coming back. If you look at the squad then I am happy with what I have got, but if we can improve in one or two areas then we will do that.
"We are hoping that by the time of the next league game we will have a couple back in Kazenga and Sam. We have the cup game at Hull, but the next two league games at Rotherham and Blackburn are the most important things on our minds at the moment, and we may take the opportunity to rest a few players [in the cup]."
LATEST NEWS FROM SEAGULLS.CO.UK
- REPORT: ALBION 0 WOLVES 1
- GALLERY: IPSWICH TOWN
- ONE YEAR ON: HUGHTON'S 2015
- ALBION SET TO SIGN RIDGEWELL
- 2016/17 SEASON-TICKET RENEWAL INFORMATION
Meanwhile, Hughton praised on-loan Manchester United striker James Wilson, after he played the full 90 minutes, despite not fully recovering from illness; and also gave words of encouragement to defensive prospect Connor Goldson, whose own goal proved to be the winner for Wolves.
"Connor will be disappointed with the mistake, he will know that's an error, but he will be better for it. He has started the last two games and, apart from the mistake, he has been very good in both matches.
"He is a young one and today he showed he is a bright prospect for us. I look forward to seeing more from him, and I have been pleased with his performances. I had no hesitation playing him and I think he will end up playing a lot of games for us.
"James has had an illness for the last week or so. We took him off at half time at Brentford because he did not feel great, and the same going into the Ipswich game, which is why we left him out there. He felt better going into today, but he felt a bit below par and also due to the volume of games that he has had.
"He is a young player whom I am sure will leave here better than when he came, and certainly he will have got used to the competition that you have in the Championship and the demands of the league. Taking all of that into consideration, he was one of those players who you felt could break the deadlock today."
Tweets by @OfficialBHAFC