Neil McDonald wants Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat by Shrewsbury to act as a reality check to his Blackpool players.
The Seasiders went into the game on a four-game unbeaten run, with many feeling they had turned the corner in League One.
But a shambolic start left McDonald’s men 2-0 down after seven minutes, and when the Shrews added a third inside half and hour Pool were all but dead and buried.
They did manage to get back into the game with goals from Tom Aldred and Danny Philliskirk either side of half-time, but in the end it was a poor defeat against a side who have now pulled level with Pool on 33 points.
But the manager hopes the defeat can act as a positive for his young squad. McDonald said: “We’ve been playing well of late and that was a warning that we aren’t the finished article.
“Hopefully that result will refocus our minds now. We usually start off quick and strong but we didn’t on Saturday.
“The first goal was a belter but the next two could have been avoided. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb.
“I’m hoping it was a one-off. People have seen the performances over the last 10 games, from which we got 14 points. That’s a magnificent return but we still need to do better.
“We pride ourselves on good starts and we had the opposite to that on Saturday. It was very frustrating. You can’t give teams a three-goal head start.”
After Nathaniel Knight-Percival opened the scoring with a brilliant overhead kick, goals from Shaun Whalley and Andy Mangan left Pool’s supporters less than impressed.
But while many believed the goals were the result of poor defending, McDonald leapt to his team’s defence.
“I don’t think we defended badly at all,” he said. “The first goal was an overhead kick, which went into the top corner, and our defenders just hesitated for the other goals.
“Maybe we should have cleared the ball quicker. We were heavily punished.
“We didn’t clear our lines, which is not like us, it’s a reminder that we have lots of work to do. The attitude of the players wasn’t in question.”