ANDY Monkhouse believes Hartlepool United have to learn to “manage games” properly after seeing his side lose from a winning position for the first time this season.
The 33-year-old, who started on the left-hand side of a midfield diamond for Pools, said the players were “disappointed and disheartened” after the 2-1 defeat to Wimbledon last night.
Colin Cooper’s side had led 1-0 at the interval thanks to a 44th minute Luke James effort.
But the game turned on its head in the second half and two goals inside three minutes from Will Antwi and Danny Hylton condemned Pools to defeat.
Experienced Monkhouse, with almost 500 career appearances to his name, says the Pools camp need to work hard to see out matches.
“In the first 45 minutes we were very dominant and in control,” said the Pools number 11.
“But it was disappointing we didn’t go more than one goal ahead.
“And fair play to Wimbledon, they made a couple of subs and changed formation and we found it a little bit difficult in the second half.
“As a group of professional footballers you have to try to manage the game properly and
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maybe in thesecond half we didn’t do that.”
Monkhouse admits a second goal for Pools would have killed off the contest and said the players were unhappy with the way the match panned out.
He added: “If we’d made it 2-0, it would have been all over and really killed them off.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get a second and we came away losers.
“At half-time I don’t think anybody in the ground would have had a problem with Hartlepool winning the match but football has a funny way of ending and we have come away with a loss.
“The crowd were up after the break, they were getting behind them and they have a few big players and put the ball in our box.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t hold out.
“After the first one maybe, we have to say right, ‘let’s take a draw home’ and that would have been a good couple of days.
“But it has not been the case and it is a little bit disheartening to take.”
Monkhouse though is confident his team-mates will be able to learn from their mistakes.
“We came here with a game plan, which worked a treat for 45 minutes,” he added.
“But second half it all changed and next time hopefully we will deal with it a little bit better.”