(Reuters) - Western United coach Mark Rudan shouldered the blame as his side slipped to a sixth straight loss on Friday that ended their hopes of a place in the A-League finals series and called for a "big reset" ahead of next season.
A 6-1 thrashing at the hands of struggling Melbourne Victory killed off the last remaining hopes Rudan's side had of climbing into the top six and earning a berth in the A-League championship playoffs.
"It's a bad night for the football club," said Rudan. "Three weeks ago we were in the mix and the wheels have just fallen off.
"It's a big learning curve for myself, first of all, and for everybody associated with the football club. We all have to have a good hard look at ourselves.
"It needs a massive reset, I believe, and we need to be better in many areas. We all have to improve. It starts with me, it's as simple as that."
Western United are about to complete their second season in the A-League and expectations were high this year after the club reached the semi-finals in their inaugural campaign.
They had looked set to advance to the playoffs again before a miserable run of seven games without a win, including defeats in the last six matches, scuppered any hopes of a repeat.
"You get to find a lot about yourself, not just myself but everybody associated with the football club, when you go through nights like this," said Rudan.
"Everybody has to have a good hard look at themselves in the mirror. It's a big reset that's required, that's for sure."
(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Richard Pullin)