Antony Sweeney's big concern following Hartlepool United's 3-1 defeat to Forest Green Rovers

Defeats happen. But it’s the manner and frequency of Hartlepool United’s defeats that is of particular concern to interim manager Antony Sweeney.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 4:45 pm

Pools were soundly beaten 3-1 by League Two leaders Forest Green as they suffered their third straight league defeat.

And after losing 5-0 at Leyton Orient and 2-1 at home to Newport County, the alarm bells are certainly ringing for Sweeney and his side.

“It should be a big concern,” he told The Mail.

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Hartlepool United caretaker manager Tony Sweeney during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Hartlepool United and Forest Green Rovers at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 20th November 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“There is no hiding away from the fact we've lost three in a row and conceded far too many goals and not scored enough.

"How we go about changing that, there is no magic wand as such but hopefully there might be with a new manager coming in and getting a major reaction.

"But I've told the players that this is us until January and whatever we have in the dressing room is going to be what gets us results in the short term.

"We're really disappointed and angry with how we've performed. We've lost three points but there are still a lot of points to play for and we'll move on.”

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Saturday’s defeat was in stark contrast to Tuesday night’s impressive FA Cup first round win at Wycombe Wanderers.

“Wycombe was just one game but we’ve lost in this manner more than once over the last couple of years,” Sweeney added. "It has happened twice in the space of a month in terms of the Leyton Orient defeat and the defeat on Saturday.

"We've proven that we can stand up to a team who are as strong and direct as Wycombe but the real test is being able to do that on a consistent basis.

"We shouldn't have to defend 'less' against Forest Green just because they play differently, we don't defend a corner properly and we're on the back foot from the start, it was a contrast to Tuesday night where we stood up to that for 95-minutes.

"We've had close to 90 corners this season and not often enough do we get the first contact and we haven't scored any goals from them which is a major concern for us. It's something we're trying to get better at but there are a range of reasons and things we have to do to get better.”

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