CRESTFALLEN Ian Holloway pulled no punches after the Seasiders’ biggest home defeat in more than seven years.
The boss described last night’s 4-1 mauling at the hands of 10-man West Ham as “hideous” and claimed his team were unrecognisable from the side which had started 2012 in such style.
Pool have not been hit for four at Bloomfield Road since losing 4-0 to Stockport in August 2004, when Colin Hendry was in charge.
Holloway copped some flak from a couple of supporters close to the dugout but he accepted it, saying: “I was getting slaughtered by two or three of our fans and quite understandably so. I understand that wasn’t good enough.
“The first 45 minutes was probably the worst performance, I’ve seen since I’ve been here. It was pretty shocking and nobody was more shocked than me.”
The Seasiders were handed a lifeline when West Ham keeper Robert Green was sent off early in the second half with the score at 2-1. The Hammers didn’t have a keeper on the bench, so midfielder Henri Lansbury went in goal.
But Holloway’s men could not make the most of the opportunity.
The manager added: “I didn’t care who they put in goal. I just wanted my lads to exploit their 10-man situation and I didn’t see them doing it anywhere like they should have. I was trying to get messages out, but it just summed up our evening that we didn’t put any pressure on their keeper.
“With an extra man you need to get it wide. We needed to do that all night but we didn’t.
“It is quite surreal. Just when you think things are going well, that happens.”
Holloway suggested the pre-match talk about how victory would lift his players to third in the Championship table affected their performance.
Instead they have dropped out of the play-off zone because Birmingham and Middlesbrough both won.
The manager believes the occasion got to some of his squad and will order everyone to get back to basics ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bristol City.
This was Pool’s first home defeat since October – and only their third setback on home soil all campaign – but the manager had no excuses after watching West Ham run riot. He says the victors fully deserved the points.
“Our lot couldn’t get anything going,” he said. “When Barry Ferguson hits it with the outside of his right foot, and it pops up in the air and puts their bloke through, you think, ‘Good God’.
“That was hideous and hard to stomach but we have to get on with it, simple as that.