Trevor Carson says Hartlepool United’s players must “man up” – starting at Accrington Stanley tonight.
Pools head to Lancashire ths evening with another major League Two test at the Crown Ground (kick-off 7.45pm).
You have to be disappointed, but you also have to go out and put it right.
After beating seventh-placed Leyton Orient 3-1, Pools then went and lost by the same margin to the team above the O’s, Mansfield Town.
Now though, it gets even harder as Pools go to Stanley, who are flying high in fourth after a run of four wins and a draw.
Boss Ronnie Moore was unhappy with the way his side switched off at Field Mill at half-time on Saturday, questioning his players if they had it in them to be winners.
“League Two is about manning up a bit, isn’t it?” said Carson.
“It’s about going out and winning your battles and I personally think we have the players to do that.
“But we need to go out and do that on a regular basis, that’s what we are missing, the consistency to do that week-in, week-out.
“You have to be disappointed, but you also have to go out and put it right.
“Ths is an opportunity to put it right and put Saturday behind us.”
Carson admitted Moore had every right to criticise the players for their performance but insists they have winners in the squad.
“I’m not saying it, what I’m saying is that’s been questioned and we now have to show the gaffer,” said the keeper.
“They are my team-mates and I stand by them, I’m one of them – he’s questioned all of us.
“I think I’m a winner, I think we are a team of winners.
“Everyone’s competitive, training’s competitive, but we’ve got to take it into Saturdays and Tuesdays.
“We’ve got to show it does hurt us to lose and not be a soft touch.”
What upset Moore the most was that Pools finally proved they can beat sides from the top end of the division when they put three past the O’s, only to go and lose to the Stags, who had not scored in five matches.
Carson says Pools are not yet at the stage where they can reel off long winning sequences but says that is the aspiration of the squad.
“You have to be a good team to go and win three in a row but may be today showed that we are not at that point yet.
“It shows something has to change, whether that’s mentality, bravery, I’m not sure what it is.
“I can’t put my finger on it but things need to be put right before we can become a team which starts talking about getting into the play-off.
“To do that you have to be able to win three four, five games on the bounce.
“We haven’t been able to do that.”
And the degree of difficulty rises tonight in Accrington.
It is not the most glamorous of venues though Carson insists it’s a night for rolling up the sleeves and getting hands and legs dirty rather than living it up in the cocktail lounge.
“Everything’s against you at Accrington, the changing rooms, everything,” he said.
“But this is League Two, we are not in the Premier League and we need to get our head around the fact we will not get a nice reception and lovely changing rooms.
“If we do we’ll be in for a shock.
“It will be a cold Tuesday night in Accrington and we have to be ready for that.
“We need to put Mansfield behind us and try to get a result.”