Cowan felt his team were their own worst enemy at Southport on Saturday, and those deficiencies were present again as the Brakes came from a goal down to take all three points, substitute Ravi Shamsi the match-winner with two goals.
“It was a lack of reliability, efficiency and ultimately we were the creators of our own downfall,” said Cowan.
“It’s hard enough playing against 11 other players who want to win the game without having to go up against yourselves, so it’s a difficult one to take,” said Cowan.
Asked about those self-inflicted wounds opening up once more, Cowan pulled few punches.
“We had an excuse on Saturday, because the grass was long, but our pitch is phenomenal, the ground staff do an amazing job, so there are no excuses.”
Cowan cited a lack of “reliability” in his team and was frank enough to admit:
“It’s hard, because I’m dealing with players who I believed would be able to go again this year, and who would be able to kick on, but we’re finding that’s not the case,” he added. “Ultimately we’re finding out a bit about them.
“But it’s a long season and we will get it right. Our philosophy is right, everything is in place, but if people don’t want to do it, we might have to look at how we address that.”
After a terrific first season in management, Cowan also agreed that this situation was his first real test:
“Of course, and I won’t shy away from that. I would never walk away from a situation and believe it’s everybody else’s fault, I will always look at myself first. It wasn’t about tactics today; we’ve shown the players that when we’ve worked to that plan, we’ve been successful, but when the players have worked to their own agenda we’ve been punished.”
In Cowan’s own words he admitted it would be “an interesting week”, but was typically bullish:
“Ultimately, we don’t want to stand still as a football club, we don’t want to go backwards, we want to be building all of the time. I would rather not be in this position, But it’s a long season and we will get it right; our philosophy is right, everything is in place, but if people don’t want to do it, we might have to look at how we address that.”