Mark Venus: Coventry City in a 'sad state', says League One club's caretaker boss
Coventry City interim boss Mark Venus called the Sky Blues "a sorry football club" after suffering a fifth straight league defeat, at Southend.
City are 21st in League One, having won just four of their 11 games since Venus replaced Tony Mowbray in September.
Fans have staged a number of protests this season against the club's owners, the hedge fund Sisu.
"Everyone can see the team needs a new manager, but they need some new players as well," Venus told BBC Sport.
"It's a sad state, it's a sorry football club."
After being appointed interim boss until at least January when Tony Mowbray left on 29 September, Venus did have an initial positive impact, lifting the Sky Blues off the bottom of the table, to where they had briefly sunk.
But City's league form had already dipped before being knocked out of the FA Cup 4-0 by League Two side Cambridge United in the second round, while their EFL Trophy second round win over Crawley attracted the lowest crowd in the club's history.
"I work 12 hours a day. I care about the football club," Venus told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. "I'm trying very hard to keep it going,
"It [the team] isn't doing very well, it needs help. Does it hurt? What do you think? It's the toughest part of my career. Of course it hurts."
City's next game is at home to third-placed Sheffield United at the Ricoh Arena this Thursday night.
If they suffer a sixth straight league defeat, it would be the club's worst losing run since leaving Highfield Road in 2005.