Matthew Bates said he felt like the efforts his players have put in over recent games caught up with them on Easter Monday as they fell to defeat against Guiseley at Victoria Park.
The game looked all set to finish goalless until deep in injury-time when the visitors took advantage of an error at the back from Pools and Dayle Southwell raced away to drill home a winner.
Caretaker boss Bates refused to be critical of his small squad and insisted they must brush the setback aside, regroup during the week and come out fighting on Saturday against Solihull Moors.
“We’re all disappointed,” he told Pools PlayerHD.
“In parts of the game I felt like we played quite well but we huffed and puffed a bit in the final third and the only thing really lacking was a goal.
“I think you could see at the end they were tired because the intensity in possession that we’ve had in recent games wasn’t there but we’ve not used many players over that period and it told.
“We had plenty of half-chances, particularly in the first half, and we just wanted more intensity; I tried to force that from them but physically I don’t think they had it today.
“The goal is a sucker-punch because overall I think we were the better team but we gave chances away at times, mainly through our own fault or over-playing.
“It was a lack of concentration at the end and Louis was gutted in the dressing room. He’s an honest lad and he’s been magnificent in the last few games so he has to forget about that and get back to his best.
“There is work still to be done, we’re not out of the woods yet and I have told them I won’t let anyone feel like they’re on holiday or think it’s over because it isn’t.
“We’ll look back on the game, we’ll analyse it and we’ll get plenty of rest so that we’re ready to go again on Saturday.”