Neil McDonald admits he was shocked by Blackpool’s “absolutely rubbish” first-half display at Northampton.
The Seasiders crashed out of the Capital One Cup at the first hurdle after a horror show against the League Two side resulted in a 3-0 defeat.
All the goals came in a terrible eight-minute period just before the half-hour at Sixfields, and McDonald pulled no punches after his first defeat as Blackpool manager.
“It was a very difficult night. We were absolutely rubbish in the first half,” he admitted.
“We were outplayed, ran around, outbattled and obviously outscored.
“We went from a really good first half at Colchester on Saturday to a really poor one. We lost the game there and then.
“It was a big shock to me. We have to get better, that’s for sure.”
Blackpool did improve after the break but by then were already well beaten courtesy of strikes from Chris Hackett, Sam Hoskins and Dominc Calvert-Lewin.
Despite the travelling 305 from the Fylde coast booing the team off at the break, McDonald revealed he kept his calm.
The Pool boss added: “I didn’t shout and bawl at half-time. There was no point as the game was over for me.
“I just told the players not to lose the second half and I think we should have won the second half.
“When you are 3-0 down, it’s very difficult to come back and at least we showed a little bit of determination after the break. I’ll be hanging on to that.”
As well as making two changes at the interval, McDonald switched his formation from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2.
But he refused to blame the tactics, insisting: “I don’t think the system mattered.
“We simply didn’t pass the ball. We had no composure, showed no interlink play at all and were very, very poor in the first half – that’s being kind to the players.”
The victory continued Northampton’s perfect start to the season after Saturday’s League Two win at Bristol Rovers, and manager Chris Wilder praised Pool for their second-half display.
Wilder said: “Credit to Blackpool for not giving in. At least they kept going.
“It would have been easy for them to throw the towel in and roll over, but to be fair they didn’t.
“I was delighted with my players. It was an excellent display and a superb win.”