HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0 TRANMERE ROVERS 2

Neil Austin breaks free of his marker. Picture by FRANK REID

Neil Austin breaks free of his marker. Picture by FRANK REID

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MICK Wadsworth certainly wasn’t going to let the rainwater wash over this defeat.

After four losses in five – this a third on the bounce at Victoria Park – the manager has abandoned the notion of the wretched run being referred to as simply a “hiccup”.

James Poole gets in a shot at the Tranmere goal. Picture by FRANK REID

James Poole gets in a shot at the Tranmere goal. Picture by FRANK REID

Instead, he talked of a “choking cough”, and that had nothing to do with the fact he’d just been soaked to the skin.

Rather, that was the ailment he used to describe the recent slump.

But Wadsworth definitely wasn’t gasping for air when he emerged to deliver his post-match verdict - still damp from the earlier downpour but as coarse and dry as can be in his criticism of the team.

He questioned the leadership of the side and challenged the desire of his players, alluding to an annoyance at the body language of their response to going two goals behind.

For the comeback never came, nor did it threaten to.

But, if Wadsworth felt let down by that, he was equally disturbed by the manner of the visiting goals.

Read Craig Hope’s full match report on last night’s home deart to Tranmere in today’s Sportmail.