Richard Money reacts to Hartlepool United's FA Trophy exit as he praises fans despite defeat
Hartlepool United boss Richard Money has praised Poolies for their support, despite his side's abject home loss to AFC Telford.
Pools were dumped out of the FA Trophy at the second round stage - which is the second year in a row they've lost early, against lower league opposition.
And after calling for more support from the terraces after last weekend's 2-1 home loss to Maidstone United, Money was full of praise for fans this week.
It was his players who he could not support.
"You know me well enough already, I say it as I see it and won’t hide behind anything," said Money
"We asked the support for more support and to be patient and they were excellent. The players have let them down on the pitch.
"I have to do everything in my power to make sure they never see anything like that again.
"This is not what we wanted but it gives us the chance to reset and we rebuild this club.
"I’m mindful of a lack of confidence at home so I am careful about what I say but what I have seen and what they delivered is not good enough.
"I can only apologise – it’s not what I want to see and not what I expect."
A crisis of confidence is the main reason for Pools' struggles, according to Money.
"They are short of confidence at the moment and up against a team who didn’t give them room to play and tested the back line. A front two who in my opinion showed how to play.
"They fought, chased and ran the channels without giving the opposition a minute’s peace and we can’t say that of our players not today but over the season.
"A team who struggle to break down the press because they lack confidence and when you get the ball coming back from the front all the time and we don’t win the headers and second headers when it comes back then the issues are there."
Money has said repeatedly that he expects January to be a big month, and he has hinted there could be a lot more changes than many anticipated.
“I’m struggling to see what the jigsaw is. There needs to be changes, big big changes but how quickly can it be done," said the manager, who has signed one player - Danny Amos - already this window.
"I’m careful how we do it and those here and taking part need the confidence to be part of it.
"That is a million miles away from being good enough, at this level for sure.
"I know what I need to change. When you come in you try and build optimism and enthusiasm and try and build the confidence. There is something there, but I know what it takes to be a success in this league and we don’t have too many parts of the jigsaw to get out of this league and be confidence.
“We have to play a way to try and give a chance of winning games. I’m struggling to think of a group of players I see who go backwards more than this group and the same with winning second balls.
"We have to play in a way to stop losing those things – first and foremost. I’ve begun to tell them after the game. If you need to be here next season then start performing."
That message from Money - buck your ideas up or you're out the door - is one which is becoming all the more real by the week, with Pools' faint hopes of a promotion play-off place sliding and now their Wembley hopes in the cup up in smoke.
Money knows all too well that if Pools' recent form continues, they will be looking over their shoulders, rather than upwards.
"There is a cushion at the moment, but two wins in 16-18-20 only gets you one place," he said.
“Wembley for the Trophy and the play-offs? Forget it. The job is suddenly much different. I have to find a way quickly of stopping that.
“Change the way we play and bring players in to help us. "