Cheltenham Town video: We're back at square one now - Penn
RUSS Penn has admitted Cheltenham Town are 'back at square one' after Saturday's 4-2 defeat at Torquay United.
The skipper felt the corner had been turned after a pair of 2-2 home draws against Portsmouth and Oxford United, with the latter a much-improved and encouraging performance at the Abbey Business Stadium.
But he was left deflated after a fourth reverse in eight League Two matches this season.
Penn knows Cheltenham have been victims of their own downfall on far too many occasions this season and he said they simply must become more difficult to beat.
"We are our own worst enemy at the moment and it's back to square one after thinking we'd turned the corner," Penn said.
"I've been saying the same things too many times over the last six weeks, but we don't seem to be doing anything about it.
"Everything seems to be going against us at the moment and our luck will change, but more importantly we have to be a lot better."
Cheltenham conceded after less than two minutes at Plainmoor and midfielder Penn knows they cannot afford to continue conceding at the current rate.
"Teams aren't scoring good goals against us, but suddenly we were 1-0 down and then we conceded another crazy goal in the last seconds of the first half," Penn said.
"Another one went in straight after half-time and it's just not good enough.
"When you go away, it won't always be pretty, but we wouldn't mind grinding out 20 scrappy 1-0 wins.
"To have any chance of that you have to stay in the game and be strong with a base to work from, but we are not doing that at the moment.
"The first goal is any game is massive and if score that you'll win 90 per cent of matches.
"But we are gifting teams goals and giving ourselves a mountain to climb in every match."
Cheltenham host third-placed AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and Penn said there can be no excuses for not putting in a much better battling display than the 247 travelling fans witnessed at Torquay.
"We are nearly 10 games into the season so we can't keep saying how early it is and we need to turn this around quickly," Penn said.
"We are nowhere near where we want to be and the way things are, every game is a battle and the longer we are down there the tougher it will become.
"We need to get on a run and then we can start to enjoy the season, but we have to get the bit between our teeth and really want to win out there and be much stronger as a unit."