Gillingham manager Ady Pennock has criticised his players after a 2-1 defeat by Coventry left the club just one point above the relegation zone.
Pennock has yet to win a match since taking over from Justin Edinburgh on 4 January, with Saturday's loss extending the Gills' barren run to 10 games.
Gillingham dropped to 18th place, with 14 League One games remaining.
"They have got to step up. They should have stepped up at the start of the season," 45-year-old Pennock said.
He told BBC Radio Kent: "They haven't done that all season. They have got to do that because obviously this is a relegation battle.
"The table doesn't lie so we've got to lick our wounds and move on. They are just words - they've got to do better on the pitch."
Gillingham have failed to keep a single clean sheet under Pennock, with just five points coming from a possible 21 during the former Forest Green manager's tenure.
The Kent club will try again to register their first win since 17 December when they take on AFC Wimbledon at Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday evening.
"We can't defend to save our lives," Pennock added.
"We've got to move on and look forward to Tuesday, because they are getting bigger and bigger, these games."