HARTLEPOOL boss Mick Wadsworth took responsibility for Saturday’s defeat against Wycombe Wanderers ... but admitted he was surprised his new-look formation didn’t work.
The Pools boss set his team out in a 3-5-2 system as he made four changes to the side which was beaten at Notts County six days earlier.
The manager said: “We changed the shape and tried to play more from the back – I take responsibility for it, no doubt.
“But the players have been terrific with it in training and that gave us great hope, so we didn’t see that coming.
“The system in possession worked well at times and we moved it around well, but it counts for nothing if you don’t score.
“But the fundamentals still have to be there, the pressing, blocking and all that side of it, marking, covering – the fundamentals are what wins football matches and if you don’t get them right you won’t win games.”
Wadsworth made radical changes to personnel before kick-off. Out went strike pairing Adam Boyd and Colin Nish as well as Ritchie Humphreys and the injured Nobby Solano.
Restored to the team were Stephen Wright, Evan Horwood, Andy Monkhouse and James Poole.
Wadsworth explained: “I wanted to get Wrighty in the team. He is a very good player, but he was part of a poor performance across the back – he will be the first to say it.
“I wanted to change things elsewhere as well and we all thought it was the right thing to do. Pooley also came in and I thought he had three glorious chances. He snatched at them. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Paul Murray lost the ball 30 yards from goal for the first goal, the ball eventually turned in by Scott Donnelly after keeper Scott Flinders had repelled Ben Strevens’ initial effort.
The second came when Stuart Beacon skipped around a sliding Sam Collins before tucking into the bottom corner to climax an incisive breakaway on 36 minutes.
By the time it was three – Collins unfortunate to turn through his own net eight minutes from the end – Pools had seen a passage of relative dominance come and go without reward.
Sub Boyd reduced the deficit with a penalty but by then it was always going to be a cae of too little, too late.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Wright, Collins, Hartley, Austin, Sweeney (Luscombe 45), Murray (Boyd 61), Liddle, Horwood, Poole (Nish 60), Monkhouse. Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Humphreys. Goals: Boyd 89 pen.
Wycombe: Bull, Foster, Winfield, Johnson, Ainsworth (Tunnicliffe 79), Lewis, Rowlands, Donnelly, Basey, Beavon (Ibe 90), Strevens. Subs Not Used: Grant, McCoy,Harris. Booked: Johnson. Goals: Donnelly 15, Beavon 36, Collins 82 og.
Att: 5,421 Ref: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).