‘We never looked comfortable’ – Dave Challinor slams defending in Hartlepool United's 4-2 defeat at home to Maidenhead United
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor admitted he didn’t see his side’s 4-2 home defeat by Maidenhead United coming on Saturday afternoon.
It was Pools’ first defeat at Victoria Park in over five months as an early Danilo Orsi strike was followed up by a Sam Barratt hat-trick as the Magpies soared to a comfortable victory despite being reduced to 10-men in the first half.
A fine individual goal from Rhys Oates should have been the main talking point following the game but the nature of the scoreline meant it was brushed under the carpet as Challinor highlighted his side’s shortcomings.
“I didn't see it coming, but we can't defend the way we did,” Challinor said. “They were shocking individual defensive mistakes. We got the equaliser and had a really good spell and then we gift them another goal.
He added: “It’s easy to be disappointed, angry and all of those emotions after a defeat like that. As much as we’re disappointed we have to move on.
"Performance wise there are positives but there are a lot more negatives where we’ve made really poor mistakes in defensive areas that have cost us goals.
“That was damaging to the confidence throughout the team and made it a nervous afternoon where we never looked comfortable.
“It was bog standard defending and if you can’t deal with balls forward then you’re not going to have a very good career and I told the defenders that afterwards.
“For me, as much as they didn’t deal with the balls forward, the primary mistake was that they were too deep. The two centre-halves are responsible for that.”
Danny Elliott grabbed a late consolation for Pools after coming on as part of a triple change shortly after half-time.
“I could have made seven subs and anyone who watched the game could have argued,” the Pools boss continued.
“No one had a good game. It's not a performance at the levels of what we've been at – we're disappointed but we can't dwell on it. These games at the back end of the season have a different atmosphere and you have to show character and a real belief in what you're doing.
"Forget the result, that was the disappointment. Too many players hid and didn't want to take on the responsibility.”