Caretaker manager Iain Dowie blamed a lack of goals for Hull City's worsening relegation predicament following Wednesday's 2-0 defeat by Aston Villa.
The Tigers remain three points adrift of safety having played their game in hand over 17th-placed West Ham and afterwards Dowie pointed the finger at his goal-shy strikers.
A Gabriel Agbonlahor goal put the visitors 1-0 up at half time before a James Milner penalty on the hour mark sealed the victory for Villa, making it four games without a win for the struggling Tigers.
"We've got nine goals from our strikers (all season). It burns you and it burnt us again today," lamented Dowie.
"It's what you pay big money for, people that don't make errors. The best defenders don't make errors. I like my defenders not to be emotional, they've got to think clearly.
"It's a familiar story. The stats don't lie. We've outperformed Villa in every part of the game except what matters - goals.
"We've had more crosses, more shots, more corners but we've got to take our opportunities."
Meanwhile, Dowie believes Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink's season is over after the Netherlands striker was knocked unconscious following a challenge with Richard Dunne.
Speaking about Saturday's vital game against Sunderland, he added: "I'm very doubtful (he'll be available) because of the amount of time he was out.
"He was out for five minutes so that's a real worry. We'll have to wait and see but he was looking in a fairly bad way."