DISAPPOINTED Hartlepool United striker James Poole doesn’t believe Newport County were the better team.
But the 23-year-old concedes that Pools failed to meet the high targets set by the players in recent week in the 2-0 defeat to Newport County at Rodney Parade.
Pools conceded early in the sixth minute to a Harry Worley header before the lively Conor Washington poked home an effort in the 64th minute to make it 2-0 and give the team from south Wales the three points.
Poole, who once again started behind nine-goal top scorer Luke James in attack, said the dressing room was disappointed not only with the result, but also the performance which was well below par.
Poole said: “The lads were really disappointed. Not just with the result, but with the performance.
“We have set our standards the last couple of months especially, but all season the standards have been getting higher and higher.
“We say to ourselves before every game that we have set those standards and we have to hit them. For whatever reason we didn’t hit them.
“As we’ve seen in this league, if you are 10-15 per cent off, then you will get punished against a team that I don’t really think were better than us.
“But they worked hard, they ground us down and they got the result. You get a lot of results winning that way.”
The 23-year-old said: “The early goal was a bit of a kick in the teeth.
“But on the other side you have 85 minutes to rectify it and to a certain extent we did that,
“They got the sucker-punch with their second goal because at that point there was only one team that looked like scoring and their keeper pulled off a few great saves.
“Their second goal was scruffy, I think it has taken a deflection or come off a defender.”
The former Manchester City striker put in a sterling shift himself and went close to scoring on a couple of occasions.
One fierce strike in the first half brought a good save out of Newport keeper Lenny Pidgeley.
Poole added: “I was pleased with my own performance to a certain extent, I got in some nice positions and their keeper pulled off one or two great saves from myself.”
Newport County: Pidgeley, Jackson (Billy Jones 78), Yakubu, Naylor, Worley, Oshilaja, Willmott, Chapman, Jolley (Flynn 66), Crow, Washington. Subs Not Used: James, Minshull, Stephens, Redman. Goals: Worley 7, Washington 64.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Baldwin, Burgess, Duckworth, Monkhouse, Dolan, Walton (Walker 87), Compton (Sweeney 81), Poole, James (Franks 70). Subs Not Used: Collins, Rafferty, Richards, Rodney.
Ref: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire). Att: 3,094.