Steven Schumacher believes there are only 'small margins' preventing Plymouth Argyle from hitting the heights that they did earlier in the season.
The Pilgrims have lost four of their last five League One fixtures, and dropped from top of the table to sixth place as a result, after previously going 16 games unbeaten.
Schumacher believes Argyle need to be better in both penalty areas because they have been 'lacking a little bit of quality in the final third' while they have also not been as solid defensively as before.
The 37-year-old was appointed as manager last Tuesday after the departure of Ryan Lowe to Championship club Preston North End.
So far he has taken charge of two games, the 1-1 draw away to MK Dons and the 2-1 defeat against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Schumacher said: "I think continuity is important. The players know me, they know the staff, they know how we work and what we want from our team.
"I still think there's areas that we can get better at and we can improve. We have spoken about that, but I won't say how in the Press if you don't mind.
"We will make improvements and changes where, as a team, we all feel we can better, but the players have been great.
"It was a tough week for them travel wise and three games on Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday all away from home. They can do with a little bit of a mental switch off now."
Schumacher continued: "We are actually not too far away from what we would like to see from our team.
"We are just lacking a little bit of quality at the moment in the final third and defensively we are not performing as well as we were earlier on in the season.
"It's small margins. The training ground will be important but the rest, that's the first thing on my mind, let them recover properly."
Sunderland could have been out of sight against Argyle by half-time, scoring twice in the opening 13 minutes and creating several other good chances.
However, the Pilgrims showed good character to dig in and they were much improved in the second half, with an early Ryan Hardie shot which was saved by Sunderland's Thorben Hoffman setting the tone for the rest of the match.
Then, after defender Dan Scarr headed home a Jordan Houghton corner in the 64th minute, Argyle had a great opportunity to equalise late on but substitute Niall Ennis scooped a shot over the bar from an excellent position.
Schumacher said: "They are chances that our strikers need to take and we back them to take them. They are all good finishers, all of them can get goals for us.
"Yeah, on another day he (Ennis) does a little bit better and it goes in. It's a key point in the game. Also, the one that Ryan had right after half-time.
"Give the goalkeeper credit, he made a decent save but if that goes in the goal then it's 2-1 with 44 minutes to go, rather than 2-1 with half an hour to go or whatever it was."
Argyle's run of one point out of a possible 15 has come against Charlton Athletic, Wycombe Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, MK Dons and Sunderland, who are all strong League One sides.
Schumacher admitted: "We said coming into that period we had a real tough run and we had to stick together, dig in and get as many points as possible.
"We haven't got as many as what we wanted but, overall, 37 points after 22 games, that's a good return and it keeps us within touching distance of the target we want to achieve.
It has been a tough run but what I'm most pleased about is that no-one has fallen out with each other, nobody is saying 'You are not doing this, you are not doing that'.
"We will regroup, we will go again and, as I mentioned earlier, I don't feel as though we are too far away from the levels. Both ends of the pitch we need to tidy up and that's obviously my job to get that right."
Argyle are back in action on Saturday when Charlton, who beat the Pilgrims 2-0 at The Valley on November 20, are the opponents for Schumacher's first game as manager at Home Park.
Schumacher will be formally introduced as the Argyle manager at a Press conference on Tuesday afternoon, which will also be attended by chief executive officer Andrew Parkinson and director of football Neil Dewsnip.