Pools boss John Hughes concerned after “heads dropped” during Coventry drubbing

Peter Hartley leaves the pitch at the end of the game against Coventry City. Picture by FRANK REID
Peter Hartley leaves the pitch at the end of the game against Coventry City. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes admits he is concerned by the manner in which “heads dropped” during the 5-0 defeat to Coventry City.

After an encouraging opening 45 minutes of his managerial reign at Victoria Park, Hughes watched in horror as his new charges shipped three goals in just nine minutes.

The Sky Blues added a further two before full-time to inflict another morale-sapping defeat on Pools which leaves them nine points from safety.

And Hughes reflected: “In that first-half there was plenty of effort and commitment and I expected that.

“The first goal might have given us something to hold on to and we had good chances.

“At half-time we had to stick together.

“But goals change games and the disappointment was that, as soon as the first goal went in, the heads went down a bit and we lost three quick goals – game over.

“I’m honest enough and man enough to say that Coventry were a better football team and they got a foothold in the game in the last 15 minutes of the first-half and carried it on.

“I felt that after the first goal we conceded there was no anger in us, heads went down and it should have galvanised us a bit.

“At one, you are always in the game and it’s a culture I am going to have to set at this club – don’t feel sorry for yourself.

“I asked Micky (Barron) – is this normal that heads drop? It’s something I’m going to have to address.”

And it wasn’t just the nature of the goals conceded which concerned Hughes.

“Our transition is very poor,” said, “By that I mean that when we are getting at Coventry and a pass goes astray, they picked up on it and are instantly having a shot or a cross at our goal.

“We have to make sure our midfield lines are staggered so it doesn’t happen.

“But we’ll sit down, watch the DVD and have a right look at it and see what I can come up with.”

And Hughes went on: “I expected us to be a bit nervy, full of energy in front of a new manager and the first 30 minutes panned out how I expected.

“But we needed to score in that spell and because we didn’t Coventry got a foothold in the game and started playing in between the lines.

“Then we concede the first goal and it was like ‘oh-no, here we go again’.”