Neal Ardley was left fuming by Notts County’s display during their 4-1 defeat at Cheltenham on Saturday.
Kane Hemmings netted a consolation goal for the Magpies on a bitterly disappointing afternoon at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium where Will Boyle, Luke Varney, Billy Waters and Tyrone Barnett were on target for their hosts.
And, speaking after the game, Ardley did not hold back in his criticism of Notts' performance.
“I’m angry and I’ve let the boys know how fuming I am,” revealed the gaffer.
“Hanging them out to dry is not my style but that wasn’t good enough and I’m as angry as the fans that were booing at the end.
“This is the first time I’ve come off the field and felt like I can’t defend the team. We were playing nothing football and we need to be effective.
“We didn’t compete today. We prepared the boys so they knew what was coming, we looked at what we didn’t do well enough last week and worked hard in training – the boys needed to show character and mettle out there.
“In training we work on getting the right bodies into good areas and taking risks, so we need them to do it on the pitch and have a go without fearing where we are. Today we didn’t.”
Despite the defeat, Ardley has not given up hope of survival and, with two more matches in the next seven days, has called on his side to regain the form they showed in early February.
“I believe we can still do this,” said the boss. “We need a response and to get a decent amount of points from the rest of the week.
“We’ve earned clean sheets when we’ve defended for our lives but today we didn’t do that and we need to get the momentum back that we had at the start of last month.
“I can’t put my finger on what has changed in the last few games but, whatever it is, we have to be better than we have been because we can’t afford to have a bad week.
“We need our players to be effective and they need to take responsibility against Carlisle on Tuesday night.”