DISAPPOINTED Hartlepool United striker James Poole doesn’t believe Newport County were the better team in last night’s defeat in South Wales.
But the 23-year-old concedes that Pools failed to meet the high targets set by themselves in recent weeks in last night’s 2-0 defeat at Rodney Parade in Sky Bet League Two.
Pools conceded early in the sixth minute to a Harry Worley header before the lively Conor Washington poked home an effort in the 64th minute to make it 2-0 and give the hosts the three points.
Poole, who once again started behind nine-goal top scorer Luke James in attack, said the dressing room was disappointed not only with the result but also the performance, which was well below par.
“The lads were really disappointed,” said Poole “Not just with the result but with the performance.
“We have set our standards the last couple of months especially, but all season the standards have been getting higher and higher.
“We say to ourselves before every game that we have set those standards and we have to hit them.
“For whatever reason we didn’t hit them.
“As we’ve seen in this league, if you are 10 to 15 per cent off then you will get punished against a team that I don’t really think were better than us.
“But they worked hard, they ground us down and they got the result.
“You get a lot of results winning that way.”
Newport took the lead in the sixth minute and it was just rewards for their high-tempo start to the game.
Poole admits while it was a blow to their game plan, there was still plenty of time left to salvage something from Rodney Parade.
The 23-year-old said: “The early goal was a bit of a kick in the teeth.
“But on the other side you have 85 minutes to rectify it and to a certain extent we did that,
“At the start of the second half there was only one team that looked like scoring and their keeper pulled off a few great saves.
“They then got the sucker punch with a scruffy second goal, I think it has taken a deflection or come off a defender.
“But in this league if you are not 100 per cent at it then you will get punished.”