Charlton manager Lee Bowyer fears his side’s sub-par performance in a 3-1 defeat to Doncaster will be difficult to rectify while they remain unable to sign any new players.
Strikes from Madger Gomes and Tyreece John-Jules plus an own goal from teenage Charlton defender Charlie Barker rendered a Conor Washington consolation moot.
The Addicks are under a transfer embargo while their ownership status continues to be argued in the courts, leaving Bowyer frustrated.
Of his side’s performance in a match which saw some fans allowed into The Valley as part of an EFL test event, Bowyer said: “It wasn’t good enough.
“We started well, but we gave them the first goal and then we looked scared, we looked nervous.
“At half-time we changed it around a bit, but then we gave them another goal. We created a few chances but we gave away too many chances.
“I say the same thing every week, I’m repeating myself each time. There isn’t enough competition in this group of players for them to know that if they don’t play well, they’re not going to play next week.
“We need to get some bodies in and I don’t know how easy it’s going to be but that’s what needs to happen. We can’t sign anyone at the moment.
“We’re working hard with this group of players. This club needs to have ambition. This is a big club. Something needs to happen.”
The home side, who won their opener at Crewe last week, looked good until skipper Darren Pratley’s error led to the opener.
“It was a sloppy pass into midfield,” said Bowyer. “That carelessness leads to goals nine times out of 10.
“Ben (Amos, Charlton’s goalkeeper) says he couldn’t see it because of the bodies in the way.”
Doncaster boss Darren Moore had plenty of positives to take from his side’s first win of the season.
He said: “It was a great performance, and a good away day.
“I was really pleased with the three points. Charlton started very strong but we were able to control large periods of the first half.
“They changed their shape in the second half but we were really good on the ball and at 2-0 we were in a good position from there.
“We knew we had to fight for the ball, win the little battles and take our chances because Charlton are a team who can score goals, but this was a really good, well-rounded performance from us.
“What we’re trying to do at Doncaster Rovers is create a mentality where whoever is named in the starting line-up is expected to perform.
“We work hard all week and everybody knows their responsibilities in the team. That’s really important to us as a club and whether I make any changes isn’t the most important thing.”