Mike Jackson was left disappointed by the performance of his players as Tranmere Rovers fell to a 1-0 home defeat to Leyton Orient on Tuesday evening.
Danny Johnson scored the only goal of the game twenty minutes from the full-time whistle, handing all three points to the visitors.
The Tranmere boss had no complaints at the scoreline when delivering his post-match verdict, as he called for more presence in midfield areas.
Jackson said: “We weren’t happy with that, again, to be honest. I will always be honest, and I think we were second-best all over the pitch and didn’t get to the pace of the game. We stopped them playing out a little bit and then the game became about picking up first and second balls, but we lost in the middle of the pitch. We weren’t aggressive enough in the challenges when we did have the ball, we were wasteful with it. If you’re giving the ball away when it’s your time to play, you’re not giving yourself a chance to grow into the game.
“We now need to try and get players back fit and some more 90 minutes into people, because we’re lacking game time in quite a few lads. We struggled to impact the game from the bench, which is something you’re always trying to do as a manager. We changed things after their goal and had a go after that, but that game was just about running hard again. We have to go away now, get some players back and get some continuity and consistency with the team selection, which allows us then to get a foothold in these games. The last two games, we’ve looked short in terms of running power,” added the Rovers’ boss.
“It was too easy to get through us and get shots, and that’s not really been us. Against Newport, it wasn’t that. It was too easy on this occasion to come through our midfield and get shots. Joe has made a couple of saves, and you could feel it. We didn’t do enough.
“I still think this group, when it’s all back together, is more than capable of getting going.”