Gloucester boss Dean Ryan delivered a damning verdict after his under-achieving team lurched to the verge of Heineken Cup elimination.
A 16-12 Kingsholm defeat against 14-man Cardiff Blues - they had wing Tom James sent off midway through the first-half - means Gloucester will struggle to progress as one of two best runners-up.
They need a bonus point win in Biarritz - and then require other results to work in their favour.
Ryan said: “It wasn’t good enough. We are coming second in these head-to-head contests at the highest level.
“It has got to change. We can’t keep getting found out.
“We came clearly second, and we haven’t made enough progress to compete at this level.
“It is a situation we’ve been in before, and we cannot allow it to keep going on.
“At this high level of Heineken Cup rugby, it is based on physicality and discipline, and we’ve repeatedly come second in those areas.
“We’ve lost any form of control in the group. There is a mathematical possibility for us if we win in Biarritz with a bonus point.”
Gloucester couldn’t make their numerical advantage count as substitute lock Bradley Davies powered over for Blues’ winning try four minutes from time.
Full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked three penalties and a conversion, and Gloucester had to settle for a losing bonus point after leading 12-6 through four penalties by Olly Barkley.