Morecambe boss Jim Bentley felt Shaun Miller’s red card changed the game as his side went down 4-2 to Oxford on Saturday.
The game at the Globe Arena was locked at 1-1 when the striker was sent off for a late challenge on Joe Skarz 20 minutes from time.
The visitors then scored three goals in nine minutes meaning Bentley’s side have now picked up just one point from their last 18.
Not only will Miller now serve a three-game ban but Morecambe also lost Lee Molyneux, moments after scoring a fine equaliser, and Luke Conlan, to injury.
Bentley said: “At the minute it’s not raining it’s pouring.
“Everything’s going against us. I’m not using that as an excuse, it’s football, it happens.
“It’s partly down to ourselves. Today it was a lack of discipline from Shaun Miller. He’s not that type of player.
“We just looked like we were building momentum and we were getting on top but once we went down to 10 men it was always going to be difficult against a very, very good side.
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“They were always going to cause us problems but we caused them problems and got the goal back through Lee Molyneux in the first half.
“Again, how’s your luck? He scores a great goal then has got to come off with a groin injury and Luke Conlan’s playing well at left back and he has to come off with a hamstring injury.
“Then there’s the sending off.”
Bentley’s main gripe on Saturday was again his side’s defending from set pieces as Oxford’s crucial second and third goals came from Callum O’Dowda corners.
He said: “I can understand the fourth goal where they’ve worked the extra man really well but the killer goals are the second and third ones.
“You can’t blame that on being down to 10 men when everyone’s got a job to do from set plays.
“It comes down to an individual battle and not letting your man score and that’s been our Achilles heel this year.
“That’s what cost us last week against Mansfield and that’s what cost us today.
“Players are playing for their futures and if they can’t get the better of their man that’s going to be a cross against their name going forwards.
“I’m not pointing the finger at one player because we’ve been shocking defensively this season.”