Ian Evatt admitted Wanderers produced an ‘unacceptable’ showing as they crashed out of the FA Cup to National League side Stockport County.
Wanderers were gifted two first-half goals and twice led by two goals inside the opening half-hour at Edgeley Park.
But County battled back to take the first-round replay into extra time before striking twice more to wrap up a remarkable 5-3 win to leave Evatt feeling more disappointed than at any other points on his Wanderers’ reign.
“It wasn’t good enough and not acceptable. From minute one to minute 120 we were poor and we deserved to lose,” confessed the candid Whites’ boss.
“We dipped massively below our own standards. They tried to give us a leg up with two goals we didn’t really deserve.
“We were out-fought, out-battled, out-ran. They’re the basics of football.
“I feel that’s the poorest we’ve been since I’ve been at the club. I’m the most disappointed I’ve been since I’ve been at the club.
“Off the back of a win and a fantastic weekend, tonight we’ve let everybody down.”
Wanderers were without the experience and nous of striker Eoin Doyle, while the absence of an unwell MJ Williams as the midfield controller was badly missed.
An injury to Josh Sheehan also handicapped Evatt’s men, who didn’t pass the ball well enough or retain sufficient possession to take the sting out of a County side superbly led from the front by two-goal striker Scott Quigley.
“People have asked what the team would be like without MJ in the middle of the park and I think tonight they got the answer,” Evatt added.
“With injuries and illness and injuries during the game we tried to manage the game and see it out, which is not really our way but just to find a way.
“We almost did it but to concede from a set-piece so late is very poor and when the momentum shifts like that sometimes you can’t re-gather it and we didn’t re-gather it and in extra-time they went on to win the game and deserved to win.
“We can’t sulk and feel down about it. We have to pick ourselves up and be better on Saturday against Wycombe, which is a very tough game.
“We need to stand up and be counted. There’s no hiding place from this.
“It was on national TV. Everyone wants to see cup upsets. The whole country will have been supporting them tonight and not us, so we have to take our medicine and come back fighting on Saturday.”