RONNIE Moore blamed “naive” defending after his Hartlepool United side suffered a late home defeat to Burton Albion.
The 1-0 defeat at Victoria Park, thanks to an 88th minute winner from Florent Cuvelier has left Pools teetering on the brink.
Eight points from safety with just 11 games now left to play.
The game, described as “awful” by Moore, was played in strong winds and on a bumpy pitch but he wasn’t blaming the conditions for the loss, the club’s 22nd of the season.
It was a poor game, with both sides struggling to create or maintain any pressure but Burton snatched a win in the final few minutes after a quick break.
Featherstone and Austin were both caught flat-footed in the build-up, with Stuart Beavon able to play in Cuvelier to finish low under Scott Flinders.
Moore said: “It was an awful game, poor considering the opposition.
“The wind spoiled it and we said at half-time one mistake would make the difference and it was us who had it.
“There wasn’t much difference between us yet they have what 67 points - they didn’t deserve to win it but we didn’t deserve to lose.
“The goal came from a free-kick of ours 80 yards from goal.
“We are naive, we got caught.
“Their keeper punches it, we can’t let them come inside – either trip him up or foul him to buy time,” added Moore.
Next up for Pools is back-to-back away games at Morecambe and then Oxford United.
But Pools have only won twice away from home all season and not keeping a clean sheet away all season.