Matty Pattison admits that Gateshead only have themselves to blame for their play-off push falling short.
Though still mathematically possible, the Heed’s chances of a top-five berth have gone up in smoke following a four-match winless stretch.
The Tynesiders were second in the Vanarama National League two months into the campaign, only to fall away spectacularly in October and November.
However, under the guidance of new manager Neil Aspin, they clawed their way back into play-off contention following a terrific start to 2016.
Gateshead sat fifth in mid-February, but have since seen their promotion dream fizzle out after a run of just two wins in ten outings.
Pattison believes a golden chance has gone begging in recent weeks, and acknowledges that far better things will be expected next time out.
He said: “There was a big change midway through the season and we’ve had to adjust, but I think we’ve done pretty well since the new manager’s come in.
“At first, we were picking up a lot of good results. We’ve gone off the boil a bit, and since the Macclesfield game we haven’t been great.
“We needed to put a stronger performance in at Woking and at least get a point. In the end, we could have nicked it, but we were happy with a draw all in all.
“Looking at the season as a whole, the club wants to be in the play-offs and we had it in our hands, and we only have ourselves to blame.
“The lads who come back next season have to really put a good shift in and try and get this club to the next level, because that’s where it needs to be.”
Though they now find themselves eight points adrift of the division’s top-five, the Tynesiders’ record on the road is bettered only by a handful of sides.
Gateshead have racked up ten wins and six draws away from home, just as they did en route to reaching the National League play-off final two years ago.
However, barring a marked improvement in the next fortnight, the Heed’s points return at the International Stadium will go down as their worst since their return to the fifth-tier in 2009.
Pattison is hopeful they can at least sign off on a positive note, however, with Danny Cowley’s Braintree first in line.
He said: “I can’t put my finger on why we’ve struggled at home.
“It’s not like the lads to not enjoy playing there – it’s a decent pitch, a big pitch, and we should get it down and pass it.
“Sometimes, when you go away to some of the older grounds – the likes of Tranmere and Grimsby – you enjoy playing there and you get yourself up for the game, but we should enjoy playing at home anyway.
“We’ve struggled against Braintree since I’ve been here – we picked up a good point there last month, but it’s always a difficult place to go.
“So, when they come up to our place, it’d be nice to get one over them and finish the season on a high.”