NEIL AUSTIN had every sympathy for Matthew Bates after the Hartlepool United skipper gifted Bury a goal on Saturday.

Bates missed the ball as he tried to play it back to keeper Scott Flinders, allowing Danny Rose a clear run on goal to make it 2-0 to the Shakers.

It was Pools third successive defeat a week into the new season, before they face Dagenham at Victoria Park tomorrow night.

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“It has happened to us all, happened to me in my first season at Barnsley. You just want the ground to swallow you up,’’ admitted Austin, who played centre-half alongside Bates.

“It is unfortunate for Matthew and it kind of killed the game of a little bit for us.

“We were chasing the game and even more so once they scored the second but there is a long way to go yet.

“It is frustrating the types of goals we are conceding.

“We will look at it on the DVDs and it is something that needs addressing.

“The balls into the box, it has to be defended better than we have been.”

Austin, impressive in the middle of the back four, added: “Second half I think we played a lot better, we were moving the ball around better.

“We would go down one side and if it wasn’t working down there then switch it and try the other flank.

“But with all the possession we still didn’t create enough chances or enough clear cut chances.

“There is still a lot of work to be done on the training ground.

“You could put it down to one of their days but a footballer is judged by what happens when the ball leaves his foot.

“The season is a marathon not a sprint though and there is still a long way to go yet.

“We need to put this game behind us, get back to the training ground Monday and come out firing on all cylinders on Tuesday.”

Boss Colin Cooper revealed Jack Compton was dropped from the squad: “The honest thing is I think the way he approached Tuesday night and training on Friday is the reason he wasn’t involved.’’