CORK CITY head coach Neale Fenn admits that defeats in his opening two games have dragged the Rebel Army into a relegation battle.
Having lost 4-2 at home to Sligo Rovers last Friday night, City were denied victory as two late Waterford goals gave the Blues a 2-1 win at Turner’s Cross on Monday.
It means that the Rebel Army are seven games ahead of Finn Harps with seven fixtures remaining.
The first of those is away to Premier Division leaders Dundalk on Friday night and Fenn is under no illusions that the losses have put City in a tough spot.
“Of course it does,” he said.
“We need to win matches, we’re going to Dundalk on Friday and we’ve lost two games in a row.
“We’re against a team that is a lot of points clear at the top of the league so it’s not looking good for us if we keep defending like that.”
City played well in parts on Monday, but couldn’t build on Dáire O’Connor’s 25th-minute opener, despite opportunities for a second goal after half-time.
Fenn was left aghast at the quality of the defending to allow Waterford to take the points.
“The game was there for us and I felt we were going to see it out,” he said.
“Again, we just conceded some bad goals. I’m sick of talking about positives, I think we need to get down to the negatives and start saying we need to sort this out.
“The defending is shocking, for the six goals we’ve conceded in my two games, there was shocking defending all over.
“Counter-attacking means you win the ball deep and attack, but they won the ball high.
“We’ve given the ball away, they haven’t even won it. The first goal, a free header six yards out, centre-back — that’s criminal defending.
You’re taught that as a young kid, you mark someone in the box, you don’t leave anyone free, that’s just basic stuff.”