Jim Bentley said his side were “alarmingly poor’’ after their 4-1 home defeat against Notts County on Boxing Day and is demanding an immediate response for the crunch game against Yeovil at the Globe on Friday night.
Former fans’ favourite Lewis Alessandra scored twice with team mate Jorge Grant bagging a brace as the Magpies took full advantage of a poor Shrimps’ showing.
The boss kept the players in the dressing room for almost an hour after the game and was clearly unhappy with the performance.
He said: “I think that was as bad as we have been. It was alarmingly poor.
“You get your hopes up after such a positive performance at Mansfield but I felt, from minute one, we were flat.
“We sparked into life once or twice but they were clinical when their chances came along; they scored two from their first two shots.
“There aren’t too many positives to take from it; we lacked belief and energy to a certain extent when you want your team to take the confidence from their last performance - and certainly the last game here against Coventry.
“We lacked character, leadership; football isn’t always about being pretty because you have to find ways of grinding things out and we were too easy to score against.
“The first goal was a poor ball; we haven’t done enough to stop the cross and we’re marking the space rather than the man.
“The second goal is one where we go through set plays - for and against - but players have to adapt; we ended up five against five, two went for the same ball and Lewis Alessandra is the spare man.
“Third goal; Steve Old makes a critical error and their lad gets in to finish.
“Even the fourth goal is one where they don’t track the runner, the ball comes into the box, two are marking one and Alessandra comes in off the line and has a free shot.
“We were as bad as we have been both with and without the ball.”