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22 January 2017

Speaking after Saturday’s defeat at Hartlepool, Darren Sarll couldn’t hide his disappointment after seeing his side put in an uncharacteristically poor performance.

“No, I am absolutely not (happy). When there are 78 who work so hard all week to fund this trip, the least my players could do is really grit their teeth, clench their fists and have a fight. The first half was as abject as I have seen us for months and that is the real disappointment. 

"The first half performance cost us the game, ultimately.

“Before the penalty Jamie didn’t have to make a save but I just didn’t like the way we weren’t close with players, weren’t aggressive, weren’t tenacious and weren’t putting our foot in. That frustrated me.

“We tried to kick-start it at half-time in the dressing room and again slight improvements, but we gave ourselves too much to do. I can’t for the life of me remember when we have lacked such aggression in our play.

“I only thought the second half was a slight improvement on things. They dug a hole so deep that it was impossible for them to get out of.”

Matty Godden twice struck the woodwork in the second half as Boro attempted a comeback but Sarll says his team didn't deserve their luck on Saturday.

“I think luck goes your way when you are working your very hardest. I think being the hardest working team brings you luck.

“It all starts again tomorrow. I don’t think Sunday can be a day of rest for the players after that. I think they had the first 45 minutes at rest. 

"There needs to be an understanding that whilst I am manager that is not acceptable in the slightest and we will hammer that point home.”

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