Craig Hignett has vowed there will be changes to his “inept” Hartlepool United side.
The season is only six games old but this Saturday’s trip to Yeovil Town is taking on critical look.
Pools have dropped to 19th in League Two and Yeovil, who are 23rd, will move above them if they win at Huish Park.
Hignett has threatened to wield the axe after the 6-1 weekend humilation at Stevenage, saying that some of his squad had “played their way out” of the team.
Pools produced some Sunday League style defending and Hignett refused to use the absence of Matthew Bates and Rob Jones (injured), Toto Nsiala (suspended) and Liam Donnelly (international duty) for the shambolic display.
“I’ve got loads of players who can come in and play [at Yeovil],” said Hignett. “I’ve had injuries with the back four but they will be OK for the next game.
“But some players have played their way out of the team.
“We had four centre-halves missing, but you have to get on with that, Scotty was our only recognised central defender.
“But I’ve players chomping a the bit to play – it’s one thing chomping at the bit and another going out there and playing your way into a team.
“Some had a right chance and failed miserably.”
Pools had something of a makeshift back four on view at Broadhall Way but Hignett refused to trot out any excuses.
And for those not at the Boro on Saturday, it wasn’t just the back four of Jordan Richards, Carl Magnay, Scott Harrison and Jake Carroll, who had off-days.
The entire team were not at the races and not one player could hold a hand up and say he was faultless.
“The performance was more than inept,” said Hignett who is contemplating cancelling the team’s day off.
“It was embarrassing to watch at times, [the second half] was the worst 45 minutes I’ve ever seen in my life.
“We are in all week now – we will work hard and make sure that never happens again.
“It was similar to [the 5-0 defeat at] Plymouth, but that was at the end of last season.
“That was different circumstances – we looked like we weren’t trying and it was the same here and it’s the start of the season.
“We are under no illusions and we’ve had words in the dressing room.
“It’s up to me to put it right and pick a team who will go and win the next game.
“We need to do better and I know for a fact I’ve got lads who will.”