Captain Ryan Donaldson admits to 'big problem' at Hartlepool United following FA Trophy defeat at Harrogate Town

Ryan Donaldson slammed Hartlepool United’s second half performance at Harrogate Town as they threw away a two goal lead for the fourth time this season.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 12:52 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th December 2019, 12:52 pm
Ryan Donaldson of Hartlepool United during the Vanarama National League match between Ebbsfleet United and Hartlepool United at The Cufflink Stadium, Northfleet on Saturday 16th November 2019. (Credit: Leila Coker | MI News)

Pools were 2-0 ahead thanks to goals from Tyler Hamilton and Donaldson himself before a spectacular collapse in the final 13-minutes saw Harrogate progress with a 3-2 win the FA Trophy first round at the CNG Stadium.

“It’s happened that many times and we’ve got a big problem because 2-0 is not enough,” said the United skipper.

“If you’re not comfortable at 2-0, when are you going to be comfortable?

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“You work hard to go 2-0 up but when we get there we just stop and you can’t play that way. The Chesterfield looks like a fluke now, we went 2-0 up, conceded but still won 5-1 but every other time it’s happened we’ve either drawn or go beat.

“We’ve got to work hard to try and play because the gaffer will be the one to sort it out because at the moment we can’t do it.”

Two spills from returning goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos ultimately proved costly.

“I don’t want Dimi to get the blame because that can happen,” Donaldson added.

“It’s what happens before that and what precedes that which is the big problem. We make error after error and bad decision after bad decision where we just stop doing the things that got us 2-0 up.

“There’s an arrogance about us that we don’t deserve to have and it’s so annoying and people have got to take responsibility and we don’t have enough people to do that at the minute.

“I don’t want us to have the attitude where it’s almost as if it's okay because it’s ‘only the Trophy’ because I’ve won this Trophy before, you get to play at Wembley on the tv and it’s a huge day for everyone involved.

“We’ve got to come back next week and play Harrogate again and they’re one up on us but it should be the other way around.

“I want it to mean more than it has because that last 20-minutes was nowhere near where we need to be at.”