Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke admitted his entire team should feel embarrassed and were a “million miles off” the pace as his side lost 1-0 to Walsall at Vale Park.
Brendan Kiernan scored the only goal to wrap up a vital win for his side.
Clarke said: “Mind my language, but I’m embarrassed. My players should be embarrassed, my staff should be embarrassed, putting on a performance like that.
“We were poor, we were bullied, we were rubbish with the ball. It’s not acceptable, it was one of those nights.
“We have to take our medicine but also the players know it’s not acceptable and we’ll see them in the morning. They’re certainly not having a day off after that.
“For me, we never got going and by far the biggest disappointment of the season so far. We were a million miles off.
“Everything about it [disappointed us the most]. Bullied, weak, passing, quality. You name it, none of it was there tonight.
“I ain’t one of those managers that go ‘Ooh we’ve done alright so this is a one-off’ – we’ll put it right,” the Vale manager insisted.
For Walsall, Matt Taylor said his side’s victory was probably the best performance of their season.
“First half, we were excellent and that’s probably the best we’ve performed consistently for 47-48 minutes and we knew that the second half would be different,” said Taylor.
“What we did was find a different way to play and what I mean is that we weren’t anywhere near as fluid as we have been in possession. But what the players did was find a way to win the game.”
Considering it was a derby, Taylor also thanked his travelling fans for their support and believes they played their part.
“I want and need the fans to be part of what we’re trying to do at the football club. I think you see tonight, they most definitely are.
“It’s difficult on a Tuesday night – I know it’s only an hour down the road – but they’ll be getting up early for work tomorrow and they’ve spent their hard-earned money to watch us and it’s imperative when that happens – and when it happens again on Sunday – that the players go out there and give everything they’ve got which is maximum effort. If they do that, then the fans will go home happy.”
The Saddlers boss also took the chance to praise scorer Kiernan.
“What you want is attacking players that are selfish. Brendan has had a difficult time lately because he hasn’t been in the team as much as he would have wanted.
“Brendan took his goal exceptionally well. It’s just disappointing he’s in the doctor’s room now having stitches in his foot, that’s why we took him off the pitch.”
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