SCARRED by the 6-1 drubbing at Chesterfield seven days earlier, Micky Barron admits he feared the worst after 10 minutes at Yeovil Town.
Already trailing following a soft concession when Joe Edwards stole in to score at the near post, Pools were on the back foot and alarmingly sluggish and complacent.
But a second-half performance in which they bombarded the home box – ultimately without reward – gave Barron reason for encouragement when he spoke to SportMail today.
“Our second half performance should have got us at least a point,” reflected the caretaker boss.
“I thought we started sloppy and the goal could have been stopped.
“I feared the worst at that point – you wonder if it’s going to be one of those days.
“But in the second half we got on the ball like we wanted and we started to get James Poole involved more.
“We passed it quicker and got in better areas as a result – unfortunately we couldn’t finish.
“I cannot ask any more from a football point of view or in terms of work-rate and effort.
“We got that in midweek (against Tranmere) and again on Saturday, but we still come out of it with no points.”
And it is that final admission which Barron insists needs addressing, the weekend defeat seeing them cut adrift by six points at the foot of League One.
“We have to believe (we can escape) and I honestly feel the players do believe they can,” he said.
“You can only take belief from performances and I thought we played well later on.
“But we’ve bossed a half and come away with nothing – that can’t happen forever.
“I don’t want to be down on luck because we are bottom.
“We need to start doing it over 90 minutes and in back-to-back matches.
“I asked for a 90-minute performance and didn’t get it until the second half.
“It was so much better then and we deserved something from it.
“The fans and players didn’t deserve to head home with nothing.
“It’s unfortunate and I’m sure if they play like that in coming weeks then they will get some wins.
“We have to keep playing well and the wins will come and that’s what the boys are saying now – bring on the next game.”
Meanwhile, Pools will be without Steve Howard for next Saturday’s visit of Coventry City after he picked up his fifth booking of the season at Yeovil.