Fleetwood boss Micky Mellon insists his side are still a work in progress after they were given a footballing lesson by Port Vale.
The Cod Army shipped five goals on a wild and dismal night at Highbury, and Mellon insisted there was work to be done.
He said: “We never thought we were the finished product. We’ll let the dust settle and work together as a group.
“We’ll learn from what’s happened, go back to the training ground, and look at where we could have done better.
“All we can do is learn from it, and get better from it.
“We played some great football and created some good chances.
“Their wide players and front two caused us untold problems and we didn’t deal with that threat all evening.”
Vale’s in-form striker Tom Pope grabbed a brace, with Ashley Vincent and Louis Dodds adding goals for the visitors.
Mellon was full of praise for Micky Adams’ side.
He said: “It was a bit of a strange game.
“I don’t want to say we haven’t come up against a very good side who punished us for everything we didn’t get right.
“We never got carried away, we always knew we were a work in progress and we were going to come up against sides like tonight who looked more streetwise than us, made better decisions than us.
“We never defended well and for a lot of the evening.
“We lost our composure and made bad decisions and we got punished for pretty much every bad decision that we made.
“But they were a good side, they created a lot of opportunities.
“A few things went against us but I don’t want to say Port Vale didn’t come here and deserve a victory, because they did.
“We know we’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ll show the players what they have to do in order to make sure, when we come up against this kind of thing again, we defend much better.”
It was another bad night for Jon Parkin, and Mellon admitted a first-half decision involving the big striker was a turning point.
He said: “We felt, before they scored the first, there was a foul on Jon Parkin.
“Five minutes later he’s given a free-kick for pretty much the same thing.
“If he gives it, it’s free-kick to us in a good position.
“As it is they’ve gone on and scored. Sometimes you just want a bit of consistency.
“You’re rolling the dice with decisions and sometimes they cost you goals.
“Sometimes your toughest opponent can be the man in black.”
Fleetwood will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.