Steven Pressley made it clear his back four have to get the “bread and butter” right after two mistakes cost Fleetwood Town the points at Peterborough.
Fleetwood weathered a first half storm from a Posh side growing in confidence under Graham Westley and climbing the League One table.
But, having taken the game to their hosts after the break, Pressley’s side were undone by two simple headers either side of a David Ball strike against his former club.
Despite the 2-1 defeat keeping Fleetwood in the relegation zone, Pressley’s team continued to improve – finding the net and rattling the woodwork three times.
And an impressive late rally by Town showed off the flair of debutant loan signings Tariqe Fosu and David Henen.
Former Scotland defender Pressley admitted his side struggled in the first half, but the Town boss believes the second-half display was good enough to have earned a point at London Road.
He said: “In the first half I didn’t think we played with the belief and the manner I expected.
“We conceded too many turnovers when we were in possession of the ball.
“That allowed them to counter on us – that’s something they do particularly well.
“But second half we were excellent, far more like ourselves.
“It wasn’t just the turnovers – we have to be more aggressive with our line. It’s not just the back four – everyone has to apply the press.
“The back four didn’t move (together), which allowed them to get in between us. That happened a number of times.
“We were a much more compact unit in the second half and we created some incredible moments.”
Fleetwood could have been ahead before Peterborough grabbed the lead through Souleymane Coulibaly.
Pressley knows it could have been a turning point had Anthony Sarcevic been able to turn home Henen’s cross.
The Town boss added: “The Sarcevic chance in the second half was probably the best chance of the game at the time. It was a chance for us to go 1-0 up.
“When they scored, we reacted well to going behind and we got the goal ourselves. But then we lost a poor second goal.
“There was a lot of spirit in us, a lot of determination, which is something you can go off in the last couple of weeks.
“We’ve created a lot of moments, a lot of brilliant opportunities.
“For the neutral it was a wonderful game of football.
It was a real spectacle and a real advert for the league. with a good standard of football.
“But we’re disappointed because we had a game plan.
“We had a belief we could win the game and we didn’t do so.”
Coulibaly slammed home the first for Posh after Town struggled to handle the home side’s pressure, spearheaded by the excellent Jon Taylor.
Jermaine Anderson bagged the winner after a break down the home side’s right flank.
And Pressley believes both goals should have been dealt with.
“It’s the bread and butter of football,” he said. “I speak to the group regularly about that.
“We provide protection to defenders with the way we play, but when the ball comes into the box they have to do their jobs, the break and butter.
“We didn’t do that for two moments and it cost us.”
One cause for optimism was the end of Fleetwood’s three-week goal drought – Town looking far more potent with Henen and Fosu in their attacking line.
Pressley said: “It’s a wonderful goal, a quick interchange of passes and a quite brilliant finish from David Ball, who has come on and done really well.
“He was disappointed not to start the game but I thought his message to me was loud and clear with the way he’s reacted.
“I’m pleased for him and pleased we scored because we hadn’t done in a number of games... but we didn’t win.”