Chesterfield’s play-off hopes suffered a big blow on Tuesday night with defeat to Plymouth Argyle at the Proact.
Argyle, managed by former Spireites manager John Sheridan, raced into a two-goal lead through Joe Bryan and Curtis Nelson.
An own goal from the visitors reduced the deficit after the break but Chesterfield were unable to find an elusive second.
It left current Spireites boss Paul Cook questioning whether his squad had the character needed to challenge at the top.
He said: “We have some good players, but for a period of time now our consistency is our inconsistency.
“You need characters at the club who demand success, people on the pitch who drive others forward. We don’t have that at the minute and that’s something I’ve got to sort.
“We just weltered. We now give goals away from set plays because we go to sleep. People watch the game they don’t play it.
“We’ve offered a little bit of life at the end but in my opinion we’ve gone out like a light. If you look at the league table you might say we’ve still got a chance but if we start games like that we’ve got no chance at all.
“Unfortunately for us we don’t have the right blend at the club at the moment. I don’t know if the modern day footballer loves football. I really wonder. They shouldn’t have been able to sleep thinking about the game.”