Brakes boss Paul Holleran has refused to link the departure of centre-half Jamie Hood to the heavy defeat at The Walks.
Hood rejoined hometown club Nuneaton Borough on Friday after making more than 300 appearances in two spells for Leamington.
His final appearance came in the 4-1 defeat at Southport and Holleran said it was clear to both parties that the writing was on the wall.
“The timing is not ideal but we could have had van Dijk playing centre half last night and it wouldn’t have made any difference because the players in the other zones weren’t switched on,” admitted Holleran.
“He’s been a great servant to us but Hoody is 36 next birthday and I was aware and he was aware that this league was catching up with him.
“He’s got his local club throwing A, B and C at him.
“Playing week in, week out at Step 3 is totally different to playing at Conference North level and he’s taken that option.
“You need to be totally switched on to play at this level and super-fit.
“He wasn’t focused - the interest from Nuneaton has been there since the start of the season - and that was reflected in his last two performances.
“We’ve got a player in Jack Lane who deserves a run of games. The gauntlet now goes down to him to make the number five shirt his own.”