No day off for Stevenage blasts an angry Darren Sarll

Darren Sarll on the touchline.

Darren Sarll on the touchline. - Credit: Archant

Stevenage’s players will be hauled into training on Sunday after a furious Darren Sarll cancelled their day off in wake of the 2-0 defeat at Hartlepool.

First-half goals from Nicky Featherstone and Brad Walker handed Pools their first ever success over Stevenage.

But it was the manner of the performance, especially in the first half, that had Sarll spitting feathers.

He said: “It all starts again tomorrow. I don’t think there’s one player in that squad that deserves a day off after that. I don’t think Sunday can be a day of rest. I think they had the first 45 minutes at rest.

“There needs to be an understanding that while I’m manager, that performance is not acceptable, not acceptable in the slightest. And we need to hammer that point home tomorrow.

“When the 78 [Stevenage supporters who made the trip] have worked all week to fund this trip, the least my players can do is really grit their teeth, clench their fists and have a fight.

“But I thought the first half was as abject as I’ve seen us in months. And that’s the disappointment. The first-half performance ultimately cost us the game.

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“Before the penalty [saved from Rhys Oates moments before Hartlepool’s first goal] Jamie hasn’t had a save to make. But I didn’t like the way we weren’t close to players, aggressive, tenacious, putting our foot in. That frustrated me and that’s seen us lose the game.

“The goals are horrendous errors, basic errors. It probably typifies the way the table looks the way it does because the basic attributes and consistency that players need to bring to a game, even to training, were severely missing in the first 45 minutes.

“And I only thought the second half was a slight improvement. I think they dug a hole so deep that it was impossible to get out of.”

Stevenage did rally in the second period and hit the crossbar twice through Henry Cowans and Matt Godden, which could have sparked a comeback.

But the manager didn’t believe that the luck was against them.

“I’m not one for that,” he said. “I think luck goes you’re way when you’re working hard. When you’re fully committed in that minute, that brings you luck.

“But we didn’t deserve our luck today.”