Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor admitted his team didn’t impose themselves well enough against Hartlepool United on Saturday.
The Saddlers fell to a 2-0 defeat at Victoria Park as the Pools scored a goal in each half through Tyler Burey and a Nicky Featherstone penalty.
Taylor felt his team didn’t get the ugly parts of the game right and he was disappointed with the performance.
“We didn’t earn the right to play, to impose our structure, the way we play in any part of the game and that’s really disappointing,” Taylor said.
“As a coach you expect your team to go out and do the side of the game that allows you when you have the football to be able to play but too many of our players didn’t do that and when you come up against an opposition that have good players, play a specific way, if you don’t deal with that and you aren’t doing the ugly side of the game well enough, then you’re never going to get into the game.
“I’m not going to stand here and complain about the referee but that’s not me so I’m not going to do that.
“What’s important now is that the players understand that we’ve had 300 of our fans come and they work hard for their money. The least they expect is a team that represents them and goes out and does those ugly things. If they make a mistake, we’ll all go with that but I felt we didn’t do that often enough throughout the 90 minutes.
“We created a couple of half chances. The first 10 minutes was probably our best spell in the game, we got behind them and had a chance to pick somebody out in the area and twice the ball flashed across the front of the goal.
“What you can’t do is invite pressure by not doing the right things. If you look at the goals, are they avoidable? Yes. They come from us having possession of the ball, we’ve not been cut open so that for me is the difficult thing.
“What it does is that it has probably helped myself learn more about the players and what I will say is the next game that we play, the reflection of hard work and basics of football to go and earn the right to play will most definitely be on show.”
Attention now turns to Saturday's match against Stevenage at the Banks's Stadium.
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