Hartlepool caretaker manager Micky Barron described the 6-1 FA Cup first-round hammering at Chesterfield as "embarrassing."
The visiting fans turned on their team as the Spireites ran riot to romp to victory in new manager Paul Cook's second game in charge. Goals from Scott Boden, Mark Randall, Craig Clay, Terrell Forbes, Jack Lester and Craig Westcarr booked the npower League Two club's place in round two, with Antony Sweeney replying for Pool.
"I think embarrassing is the right word for it and the criticism is fair and just," said Barron. "The players have to take it on board, I can't come out and defend them because there's nothing for me to defend.
"After one half-decent performance at Brentford we spoke about not letting everyone down and taking three steps back, but if anything we've taken even more steps back.
"For 15 minutes I was quite comfortable with the way we were playing and then one goal can just throw this team so far off course. It's like a roller-coaster, we get a little up and then a massive down and this is the biggest down we could have.
"This has happened too many times with this group of players, as soon as one goal goes in you don't know how many more there are going to be."
Cook new it was important his team started well after defeats in their previous two home games.
"We prepared well and it was important that we set a tempo to score early and when you do that it makes it very hard for the opposition because our fans get a lift," said Cook.
"Our performance lifted the supporters and the ground was bubbling away for 90 minutes. We had quite a few knocks with injuries but that always gives someone else a chance and if we are going to have a competitive team, you must fear for your place.
"Goals change games at any level, it's the nature of football, and we scored at good times. We know we have good players here and the lads were working very hard, which was the pleasing thing. Winning is a habit and now we have six different scorers and everyone wants to be on the pitch and that's the type of spirit we are trying to create."
- Sports & Recreation
- Craig Westcarr