Walsall boss Darrell Clarke was left frustrated by his team’s sloppy first half in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Cheltenham Town.
The Robins opened the scoring after 18 minutes through Max Sheaf before Conor Thomas and Alfie May extended their advantage in the second half.
Substitute Elijah Adebayo pulled one back for the Saddlers but it proved to be a consolation goal.
Clarke admitted Cheltenham were the better side but he was bitterly disappointed with how his side started the match.
“We can’t paper over that,” he said.
“I thought for the first 45 minutes we were awful, if I’m honest.
“Kicking it long, ball going out of play, no-one making angles to get on the ball.
“We didn’t look like a team that’s been doing well recently.
“Cheltenham are a good team, obviously, but we sort of played into their hands.
“We were very, very sloppy in our performance.
“Then we changed things around a little bit second half and we give another real cheap goal away.
“It doesn’t give us a chance to build and the players have got to learn from that.
“I’ve been very critical of my players previously and like I said to them in there, one in 10, I can handle it.
“I’m not happy, obviously, very disappointed.
“But you have to take your medicine in those situations.
“We got beat by a better team today and my team didn’t turn up.”
Clarke conceded that his team got punished for their mistakes and was particularly disappointed to see the Saddlers concede so soon after the break.
“We had some harsh words at half-time, so we wanted that reaction, and then you give a sloppy goal away in the second half,” he commented.
“We were always going to give Cheltenham different problems to think about with tactical changes to try and get back into the game.
“But we were sloppy.
“Unlike our previous away performances, we were giving cheap goals away.
“You can’t do that against a good team.”
Walsall now turn their attention to a home fixture against Crawley Town on Saturday.
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