Neil Aspin says his FC Halifax Town side must defend better after a 4-3 defeat to Woking ended their unbeaten home start to the season.
Town were 4-1 down at one point before almost staging a remarkable comeback with 10 men after home debutant Reece Gray’s red card.
The Town boss praised his team’s response to going 4-1 down after a superb hat-trick from Woking forward Jack Marriott, but said the damage was done before half-time.
He said: “We’re disappointed to lose a game at home and very disappointed with the way we defended in the first-half.
“I would give Woking credit, their front two are excellent and they caused us problems all day.
“But I’d still expect us to defend better. It’s difficult when you go 3-1 down and the crowd’s on your back and people are dipping in confidence.
“But they responded well, I’m proud of their efforts, they kept going until the finish and as long as they keep doing that then results will turn.
“We’ll get players back and once you win a game you can start trying to put together a couple of wins and start on a run again.
“But I wouldn’t criticise the players, they’re a genuine group and they want to do well for the club.”
Aspin said it came as a shock to find his side 3-1 down after just 16 minutes following Archie Love’s opener just two minutes in.
He said: “There are positives because if you’re without your top scorer, you then say ‘can we score score goals?’, but we’ve proved we can.
“But we have to be better defensively as a team.
“Because we’ve changed the personnel, it does unsettle you because you’re bringing them in with not a lot of time to work with them.
“I have to look at what we can do better defensively.
“I didn’t see the spell coming where we conceded three, I have to admit, that came as a bit of a shock and I think the players were a bit shell-shocked.
“It was a really difficult spell but they’ve got some good players, good in possession, and that’s what type of league it is.”
A Town supporter made his feelings clear to the Shay chief during the first-half when he approached the home dugout to remonstrate with Aspin.
The Halifax boss was unhappy with the incident and says it was unacceptable behaviour from a home supporter.
He said: “I’ve been in football since I was 16 and you have games as a player when you take lots of abuse - that’s part of the job.
“What’s not part of the job is when a game’s going on and have supporters coming within two feet of you abusing you.
“I’m not prepared to accept that - that’s out of order.
“I’m not immune to criticism. I think all managers get criticism - you accept that.
“But that’s going too far where myself and my staff are subjected to abuse from people who can come within two yards of you.
“But what do people expect? Do they expect us to come into this league, part-time, nowhere to train, loads of injuries, and be winning games comfortably?
“Let’s get realistic, we’re in for a fight, it is a struggle but we’ll respond, roll our sleeves up and the lads will give their best and that’s all you can ask for.”