Richard Money admitted Hartlepool United looked like a 'bunch of strangers' as they fell to defeat at Harrogate.
Pools failed to impress in front of the television cameras at the CNG Stadium as they fell to a 3-1 defeat - with defensive errors once again at the forefront of a disappointing reverse.
And Money was in no doubt as to the fact his side deserved nothing from the clash, with the hosts' promotion credentials clear to see.
In stark contrast to Pools, Harrogate have a settled squad who have risen through the league together.
Money, meanwhile, handed debuts to three players who had taken part in just one training session with the club - and conceded that his side looked like strangers.
"The best team won," he admitted.
"I thought they were better than us in every aspect.
"But they are a team that has been together a while. They look like a well-oiled, well-drilled team who know what they're doing.
"They passed it well, they moved well and we, in contract, looked like what we are at the minute - a bunch of strangers. We had three new players who only came in yesterday at nine o'clock."
Two defensive errors handed Harrogate their first two goals and, while those particular incidents were thrust into the spotlight, Money believed Pools looked at seat at the back throughout the afternoon.
Captain Carl Magnay was hooked at half-time after a shaky showing, but the Pools boss is growing frustrated at a lack of stability in defence - regardless of the personnel and systems utilised.
And he admitted changes could be forthcoming if his players do not show marked improvements.
"It was a case of defensive errors for most of the afternoon, to be honest," he added.
"We just don't look stable.
"Three at the back, four at the back, five at the back, three in front, four in front - we just don't look stable.
"Until we stop making individual errors and defend properly when it's one-v-one, then we're going to continue to have problems.
"One or two will know, I hope, that they have got to do better or - whether it's now or in the summer - we have to do something about that.
"It's an ability to be able to put themselves in the right position, stop a cross and pick up in the box.
"When it continues to happen you have to ask the question whether those people are able to do it."