Steven Pressley says his Fleetwood players must react better to setbacks after Joe Davis’ calamitous own goal paved the way for a 2-0 home defeat by Barnsley.
When the Tykes’ Josh Brownhill hoofed the ball towards the Fleetwood box in the 47th minute, Davis tried to nod it back to Chris Maxwell but instead sent a looping header over the helpless keeper.
The goal knocked the wind out of Town’s sails and Barnsley substitute Josh Scowen made it two in the 84th minute.
And after this third successive defeat, Pressley says his players must not allow mistakes like Davis’ to derail their League One survival quest.
The Town boss said: “We allowed the goal to affect us and we can’t allow that to happen in the future.
“We have to react to setbacks much better because there are going to be plenty between now and the end of the season and plenty of questions asked. I think we need a better answers than we gave in the second half.
“The goal did change the game greatly because in the first half we were very much in control.
“We can’t allow these types of goals to happen. I didn’t think our defenders were asked too many questions because of the way we pressured the ball at the top end of the pitch.
“But when we are asked these questions we do have to answer them in a better manner than we did.”
Town remain 19th, with a three-point cushion from the drop zone, and were boosted by the return of midfielder Antoni Sarcevic, who came on as a substitute in the second half.
But striker Shola Ameobi limped off injured after trying to head in the rebound from Jimmy Ryan’s shot in the 27th minute.
Ameobi felt he was impeded by Barnsley’s George Williams and appealed for a penalty, though referee Kevin Wright waved away his claims.
Pressley said: “Shola seems to believe he has been pulled back but I haven’t seen it as yet.”
The manager called on his men to show more courage if they are to avoid relegation.
He added: “We were asking all the questions in the first half.
“We came out of the blocks very aggressively. I was very pleased with a lot of aspects of the first half. We were on the front foot.
“We have talked for a long period as a group and the biggest disappointment was that when we lost the goal early in the second half we allowed it too affect us.
“We have to show a greater degree of courage than we did in the second half. We have to show a better mentality if we are to get out of this situation.
“There has to be a better mentality about us because every time the ball went into their box in the second half they won first contact
“Every time the ball dropped in and around their penalty area they won first contact. We have to be more aggressive than that.
“I felt we didn’t win enough first contact as defenders either in the second half. Three straight defeats is not good reading but we must react to that.
“We must put an end to this run and we must win at Chesterfield on Saturday.”