Huddersfield Town’s performance against Rotherham United was quite simply a disgrace.
In what was easily the worst display since 2012’s return to the second flight, the relegation-threatened Millers - a collection of lower-league journeymen playing to the maximum of their potential - out-fought, out-thought, and at times out-played a Town side who looked disinterested and showed no desire.
Blaming a lack of passion for a defeat is normally a case of clutching at straws by people too ill-educated about the subtleties of football to understand what really went wrong.
But applying the assessment to Saturday’s performance, particularly to the midfield, would have been accurate and fair.
The midfield was out-muscled by an energetic Rotherham side and didn’t look like competing. ‘Lightweight’ doesn’t do justice to the weakness of many challenges made by those in blue and white.
Conor Coady, to say he is at least six feet tall and 12 or 13 stone, should have more physical presence than what he displayed against Rotherham.
The midfield battle was conceded far too easily. Town had to show as much fight as Rotherham, and that was something conspicuously absent.
To be fair to the defence, it didn’t stand much of a chance.
Chris Powell has to take responsibility for his selection and choices.
Tommy Smith is out of form and lacking in confidence, and both Joel Lynch and Jack Robinson were identifiably unfit.
Lynch looked to have been rushed back and lacked the pace and physicality usually associated with his game; Robinson, subbed against Brentford at half-time, was most likely only playing because Jake Carroll, the only other left-back on the books, is nowhere near good enough for Championship football.
The lack of trust shown by Powell in the back-up members of his squad is worrying.
Plumping for the unfit Lynch and Robinson over Murray Wallace and Carroll is questionable, when the latter are fully fit.
A small squad is good for unity, but bad for options, especially when there is a clear hierarchy in terms of selection.
Loans need to come in, especially to support Robinson if he isn’t fit, but also to freshen up the squad.
Neither players nor manager can escape blame for the debacle against Rotherham, particularly after successive heavy away defeats.
Changes of personnel need to be made, and Powell hasn’t helped himself by letting the likes of Lee Peltier and Danny Ward depart.
A reaction is needed all round against Birmingham, with the prospect of relegation still lingering after a triple-header of abject displays.