JONATHAN Franks felt it was a case of taking “four steps back” after Hartlepool United’s crushing 5-1 defeat to Northampton Town.
Pools went into last night’s match at the Sixfields Stadium on the back of consecutive clean sheets after the 2-0 win over Shrewsbury Town and the goalless draw with Tranmere Rovers.
Defensively, Colin Cooper’s side looked like they had got over their early season frailties. That was until last night.
Four out of the five goals last night were totally avoidable.
And forward Franks, who was again named up front alongside on-loan Middlesbrough striker Charlie Wyke, admitted the defeat hurt.
Franks insisted the whole team was culpable for allowing Chris Wilder’s side to smash five past them.
The performance and final result was doubly disappointing given they had started the game so well.
A goal from Wyke – who was later taken off with concussion after a heavy bang to the head – had given Pools the lead after just 46 seconds.
Then it all went wrong. Northampton scoring through Marc Richards and Kaid Mohamed – who both scored twice – and Lawson D’Ath.
Franks told SportMail: “We are very, very disappointed.
“To concede goals like that, especially after we’d taken the lead, isn’t good enough.
“We started the game well but you cannot defend as a team like that and expect to win games.
“I know on Saturday [against Tranmere Rovers] we weren’t as good as the previous week but we still got the point and that was a step forward.
“Against Northampton, it just felt like four steps back.
“It was an open game and we said at half-time that even though we were 3-1 down we’d had opportunities ourselves.
“But the defending starts from the front and we were too easy to get past.
“Daft goals were given away and when it gets to 4-1 and then 5-1 then obviously it is game over.”
Pools take on Plymouth Argyle away this weekend and they will have to do so without Wyke, who will need seven days rest after suffering concussion.
Franks didn’t think Wyke’s early departure on 28 minutes had an impact on the players, who he said simply made it too easy for Northampton to score.
“Chaz has been a really good player for us and he will be a big loss,” said Franks.
“But I don’t think him going off affected the players - the goals that we conceded were just far too easy.
“The whole team is responsible and we have to put it right before Saturday.”