Dave Challinor’s Hartlepool United side have now lost three of their last four National League games following Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Sutton United.
And with the play-offs just around the corner in June, the Pools boss has admitted some concern at recent performances from his side.
After the defeat at Gander Green Lane, Challinor admitted there was a ‘frosty’ atmosphere in the Pools dressing room while their opponents Sutton lifted the National League title out on the pitch.
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And when asked if he learnt anything new about his players from the match, Challinor responded with a blunt: “Yes.”
The Pools boss refrained from elaborating on what that was before going on to assess his side’s display at Gander Green Lane.
"I would like to keep what that is to myself if I’m honest,” Challinor added. “You obviously learn and I’ve not said a great deal in the dressing room because I’m angry that we’ve not done the basics well enough.
"It’s easy to say you’re learning but it’s a difficult environment sometimes to learn in sometimes.
"There’s no bigger motivating factor to make sure the next game you play in can be perceived in a big game and a season-defining game that you get the basic parts right and make sure they don’t hurt us.
He continued: “Sometimes you learn more in defeat than you do in victory.
"We’re in these big games, play-off games which are edgy and nervy. More so than in normal games, the manner in which you concede goals and the timing of goals can have a huge impact on people’s mentality and confidence a little bit if you like.
"People have made mistakes and if they don’t learn from it then their careers moving forward will be short lived.
"You’ve got to get used to dealing with these type of games and these type of environments and you only do that by being exposed to them and for some of the younger ones that are there, that will be an experience. These type of games will be experiences which will ultimately dictate how high they can play.”