Cape Town - Chippa United coach Dan Malesela has questioned his players' commitment levels against less fashionable opposition.
The Chilli Boys raised their game to secure a goalless draw against African champions Mamelodi Sundowns last Tuesday, only to lose 2-1 to mid-table Platinum Stars on the weekend.
The result meant Chippa - who also recently lost to relegation threatened Bloemfontein Celtic - are without a win in their last five league outings while they have also dropped out of the top eight and down to 10th spot.
Malesela was unhappy with his side's second-half showing against Stars, which saw them letting go of a 1-0 lead at half-time to lose the match 2-1 - Dikwena's winner having come in the 88th minute.
"We stopped playing in the second-half. We defended badly. This is a sad loss," Malesela told the club's website.
"We need to start showing character and show the same attitude regardless of the opposition.
"We had a superb first half and we should have scored more," he added.
Malesela also ruled out fatigue as a possible excuse for his players.
"The midweek game (Sundowns) had no effect on the result. We made things difficult for ourselves here and we must pick the pieces and focus on the next one on Tuesday," he said.
The Eastern Cape team host Bidvest Wits on Tuesday night in their next league encounter.
Kick off is at 19:30.