Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper has admitted his frustration at his side's 1-0 defeat to Bury in League Two on Tuesday.
Daniel Nardiello's goal in the 48th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides at Gigg Lane.
"We really didn't show any of our qualities," Sky Sports News quotes him as saying. "The lads thought there was a possibility of coming here and grabbing something but it didn't happen. The players feel disappointed because they got dragged into a scruffy match. There's going to be an awful lot of them this season but you have to deal with them.
"We didn't show our quality and whether that's down to the mentality or the pitch, or a combination of both, we just didn't do what we wanted to. I don't make excuses and there is no excuse to be brutally honest. At certain times during the match we did pass the ball well, but not enough.
"To give them a chance to score the way we did isn't very good. It was a scruffy goal to concede and scruffy sums up the night. It might be one step forward and two steps back but as long as we agree the direction we're going in is the right direction, as individuals and as a football club, we'll be alright."
United are currently 13th in the league table with 24 points from 18 matches.