Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff was left deeply frustrated with his team’s second half display against Barrow A.F.C as they fell to a 2-0 defeat.
The Robins were poor defensively and conceded two disappointing goals – one in each half – but it was the overall performance in the second 45 minutes that annoyed the 43-year-old most.
“I was more disappointed with the second half than anything else,” Duff said.
“I thought the whole second half was rubbish, frankly.
“We didn’t defend properly, we didn’t pass it, moved it slowly and the players didn’t do the things we asked them to do.”
Many fans would’ve expected Cheltenham to dominate the evening’s proceedings, however a freak goal just two minutes into the game changed that.
James Jones’ cross was misread by Robins’ captain Ben Tozer and rolled into the far corner beyond goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.
However, it didn’t get any better later in the game when Barrow got their second goal of the evening.
With just under 25 minutes left, the ball was launched into the box by substitute Bobby Thomas via a long throw and as Griffiths looked to clear the danger, he inadvertently booted the ball against teammate Sean Long and had to watch on as it sailed back into his own net.
When questioned on the unusual nature of the two goals, Duff couldn’t hide the irritation he had with the way in which his side conceded.
“They’ve [Barrow] not done anything to score a goal,” he said.
“The first one is a cross and the second one, nobody has headed it, so there has been a bit of finger pointing and a few words said.”
Though, the Belfast-born manager explained that he wasn’t going to make any major changes ahead of the weekend’s clash against Salford City.
“We are still top of the league so we must be doing something right,” Duff said.
“We’ll have a look at what we did and didn’t do well tonight, and we’ll prepare for Salford.
“We’ll try and put a team out to win the game. We might not win it, but we’ll do everything we can and try to be better than we were tonight.”
With the Manchester-based side travelling south to play the Robins at the Jonny-Rocks stadium on Saturday, Duff was asked about how he hoped to remove mistakes from his side.
“It’s about learning from mistakes,” he said.
“What we’ve done in the last two, two and a half years has been a similar type of process and we’ll keep trying to drill down on the detail.
“It’s about not becoming complacent and making sure we’re at it all the time.”
Cheltenham remain top of the league with 11 games yet to play, whereas this weekend’s opponents sit in 9th after their 0-0 draw with Colchester, meaning the tie could be crucial for both sides as they continue their race for promotion.