Neil McDonald was left “bitterly disappointed and frustrated” after defeat at Swindon left his Blackpool side just one point above the League One relegation zone.
Nicky Ajose’s hat-trick goal two minutes from time sealed the Robins’ 3-2 win at the County Ground, where Tom Aldred had given Pool the lead after only two minutes.
With three of the clubs below Pool – Fleetwood, Chesterfield and Oldham – winning on Saturday, the bottom of the table has tightened up and two of those sides have two games in hand on Pool.
Danny Philliskirk equalised for the visitors with a second-half penalty, but it wasn’t enough and manager McDonald wasn’t pleased.
He said: “I think we should have at least a point. When you score two goals away from home you should come away with something. We are bitterly disappointed and frustrated.”
On a wet and blustery day, Swindon dealt with the conditions better and enjoyed 65 per cent of possession.
Even so, Pool were ahead until an uncharacteristic error from recalled keeper Colin Doyle gifted Ajose his first after 17 minutes. McDonald said: “We gave them the first goal. It came into the box, came off Colin’s chest and the lad popped it in.
“I think we were well in the game and controlled their possession in front of us a lot.
“They passed it about and were a bit more clinical than us. Saying that, we created some good chances and should have got something out of the game.”
Having built much of their recent success on clean sheets, Pool conceded three for the second time in three games.
And McDonald wasn’t best pleased with Clark Robertson, Brad Potts and Jarrett Rivers for failing to block Ajose’s late winner.
“We’ve certainly defended better, that’s for sure,” said the boss. “OK, the first one was a mistake but for the other two we can do a bit better on the defensive side, especially the third one – we should have blocked the shot.”
As it was, the outstanding Ajose took his goal tally for a prolific season to 19, and he could have scored four on the day but for a superb block tackle by Hayden White.
McDonald conceded: “Yes, he’s a handful. He’s a big lad but I thought we controlled him the majority of the time.
“The one or two times he got away he put the chances away.”