Ronnie Moore attached no blame to his penalty-takers after watching Hartlepool United went out of the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy to Sheffield United.
Pools fought back from going a goal down early on to the Blades with Scott Fenwick equalising early in the second half.
Even with 2,000 in the ground, it’s still a long way to the penalty spot.
The first-round tie ended 1-1 after 90 minutes with penalties following straight away.
Rakish Bingham and Rhys Oates scored the first two for Pools with Michael Higdon and Billy Sharp tying things up at 2-2.
But Pools could not convert their third and fourth attempts, Scott Harrison and Scott Fenwick having their efforts saved by George Long.
Marc McNulty scored Sheffield United’s third but Adam Bartlett saved from Martyn Woolford to leave the Yorkshire side 3-2 up.
Nicky Featherstone had to score and did to bring Pools level, but James McEveley found the bottom corner with Sheffield’s final penalty to win it 4-3.
“For penalties, we find out who the brave ones are,” said Moore.
“Even with 2,000 in the ground, it’s still a long way to the penalty spot.
“You want to scream and shout when they miss it, but you can’t they have the guts to pick up the ball and go and try to do it.
“I said before they went ‘pick your spot, don’t change your mind and whack it’.
“It’s disappointing that the two we missed were simple side-footers.”