A SHOCKED Mick Wadsworth was left to reflect on a “rogue” six minutes in which his side were torn apart as Peterborough struck three times.
The Pools boss blasted the slipshod defending which allowed Posh to bag a quick-fire treble courtesy of Craig Mackail-Smith (62), Tommy Rowe (64) and Lee Tomlin (68).
James Wesolowski added an injury-time fourth but by this point Pools were dead and buried.
And Wadsworth agreed all the damage had been done during that isolated second-half capitulation.
“It was a real rogue six minutes which lost us the game,” he told SportMail.
“All three goals came from the same area and that was a problem for us where we didn’t deal with things particularly well.
“But it’s a game we shouldn’t have gone out 4-0 losers in because it’s a poor defensive performance over a very short period.
“It was just a crazy, crazy spell and it’s disappointing because it’s something that we’re not used to.
“We talk a lot about concentration and discipline and I thought that defensively we lost that.
“I won’t single out individuals because that’s not fair. But I will speak to those players and we’ll deal with it in training before tomorrow’s game against Notts County.”
Pools’ cause wasn’t aided when, at 0-0, the ever-dependable Peter Hartley succumbed to illness.
And Wadsworth, who had also seen Paul Murray and James Brown complain of sickness last week, added: “Losing Peter was a big issue - he was feeling terrible at half-time and was really struggling.
“He had felt quite poorly in the morning but was then okay. It’s a shame because I thought he had a very good first half but he got worse and worse and was struggling at half-time.
“I don’t know if it’s the same bug, we’ve had three players ill this week, but it’s a bit worrying when we’re all travelling together, rooming together and training together and it’s something we’ll have to look at.”
Up until Hartley’s withdrawal Pools had more than matched their hosts and had arguably carved out the best chance of the game, Antony Sweeney getting his angles all wrong with a first-half header having been picked out by Andy Monkhouse unmarked six yards from goal.
“I thought it was a good game and we were controlling it reasonably well,” said Wadsworth.
“Defensively we’d matched them and had nullified their threat.
“We’d played some good, counter-attacking football and it was a real shock to me what happened.
“I thought we were setting ourselves up for a classic one-niler.
“We were solid and I thought we’d get something on the counter-attack or from a set-play.
“But then the rug was pulled from under our feet and it was too late.
“Before that the game plan was working – we’d got a tip-off of how they were going to play and we nullified George Boyd which is a big job and we dealt with Mackail-Smith very well.
“We had some good chances and of all the culprits Tony had the easiest – I’m not having a go because he’s done fantastically well for us – but as headers go that was fairly easy – I think he had a Toblerone box on his head.
“But we’ve got to pick ourselves up now and regroup ahead of Tuesday.”