Matthew Bates felt his side were made to pay for a below-par first half as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park on Saturday.
The visitors were on the front foot from the off and created numerous good chances during the first half but only had Dean Rance’s 16th-minute strike to show for their dominance at the break.
That stat encouraged Bates’ players and, boosted by a tweak in tactics from the stand-in boss, they improved during the second period but could not find a way to get back in to the game.
“In the first half we were really poor and we were shocking defensively,” Bates told Pools PlayerHD.
“I think that breeds a nervousness throughout the whole team and it showed because we were lucky to come in at half-time only 1-0 down when it could have been two or three.
“In the second half we came out and I thought we were the better team; we changed a couple of things at half-time and it worked, we created chances like they had in the first half.
“It’s disappointing but on another day we could have got something from the game but I can’t hide from the fact that we could have been two or three down by half-time.
“We’ve got away with it with the other results but it’s frustrating because I really fancied us today and we could have been six points away from it – now we have to go again.
“I’ve told the lads we’ll be back in on Monday and it will be a long week. I want them to buy in to what I’m doing and see how far we can go and how many points we can pick up during my time in charge.”