Sporting Gijon coach Abelardo said his side "are not running well" after they slid to a fourth defeat in succession.
Sporting lost 2-1 at Deportivo La Coruna last weekend and dropped to 16th place in La Liga with seven points from seven games.
"With respect to last year, we are running more but we are not running well," Abelardo told Marca.
"Having watched our game at the Riazor again, we deserved to lose.
"There are not many coaches out there that say that their team plays badly. I'm honest."
Sporting, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, lost key players in the summer. Spanish midfielder Jony joined Malaga, Colombian centre-back Bernardo left for Middlesbrough and defender Luis Hernandez moved to Leicester.
"We have the biggest budget in the club's history -- but so do other clubs," Abelardo said. "I would have liked to have kept five players, but they left.
"Luis, Jony and Bernardo were crucial but they are no longer here and we weren't able to find suitable replacements."
Sporting finished 17th in the table last season, surviving on the final day.