MATTHEW Bates has revealed the Hartlepool United team held a dressing-room inquest after the midweek hammering at Northampton Town.
The club captain said the players were inside for over an hour after the match discussing the failings in the 5-1 defeat in the Sky Bet League Two match.
Bates said it was an opportunity to “get things out in the open” before the squad could move on ahead of the trip to Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
The 27-year-old insisted the team is now looking for a positive result at Home Park as they look to get the campaign back on track.
Bates told SportMail: “We were in the changing room for quite a while after the game going through certain things and what we said was that we needed it to be put to bed.
“We were in there for over an hour after the game.
“We got things out in the open between the lads and we can now move on and look to pick up a positive result at the weekend.”
Pools had started the match well at the Sixfields Stadium, taking the lead after just 46 seconds through on-loan Middlesbrough striker Charlie Wyke.
But then it all went to pot.
“We’d started really well with the goal through Chaz,” said Bates. “He has been playing brilliantly for us and we missed him when he went off.
“The fact we lost him so early into the game didn’t help.
“They had a clear game plan and executed it really well. One goal was a penalty, another a great finish but the other three were totally identical really - crosses to the back post and we couldn’t handle it.
“It is a credit to them in the way they applied their game plan but all we can do is move on and put that result to bed, like we did after Port Vale.”
Topscorer Wyke, who has three goals in five loan appearances, will be a “big loss” admits his former Boro teammate Bates, but the captain is confident Marlon Harewood and Jonathan Franks can fill the void.
He added: “Charlie has done really well and his hold-up play has been brilliant and it allows us to get up the pitch.
“To have somebody like that in your team is a big help, especially as a defender, because you know the ball isn’t come back as often as it would without him in the team.
“We will miss him but we have players that can come in.
“Marlon can come in and do a job and Franksy has been doing well. Plymouth pose a challenge but all teams in this league are very similar and there aren’t many real stand out teams and you don’t know what you are going to get each week.
“You have to prepare for the game well every week.
“Plymouth will be no different to Northampton but we obviously have to defend better and hopefully get a more positive result.”