FRUSTRATED Barrow boss Mark Cooper lambasted his side’s defending after losing at Hartlepool.

The Bluebirds took the lead thanks to John Rooney’s stunning 35-yard opener.

But Barrow’s capitulation thereafter left Cooper scratching his head.

His relegation-threatened side shipped three goals in 16 first-half minutes as they slumped to a desperately disappointing defeat.

Luke Molyneux bagged a brace before Omar Bogle put the game to bed on the stroke of half time.

“We had a great start, a fabulous goal puts us 1-0 up and I was fully expecting us to manage the game from there,” reflected Cooper.

“There wasn’t really any danger but we didn’t get tight around the box.

“We just let in half decent players and we’re giving them two yards to get a shot off instead of getting tight.

“You can’t expect to do that and win games of football.

“All three goals are similar; shots from in and around the box, you’ve got to get tight to people.

“The goals against Tranmere on Saturday the lad’s running through the middle of the park with the ball and we’re backing away. You’ve got to get tight.”

It was the manner of which Molyneux was allowed to level and put the Pools ahead which infuriated Cooper.

And Cooper challenged his players to cut out the mistake they continue to make.

“Every player on the side of the pitch knew Molyneux was left-footed,” moaned Cooper.

“So we let him inside, and let him inside again and then he’s bent one in the corner.

“The other two goals are the same, we’re not tight. No matter how good a player you are they’ll kill you.

“It wasn’t as if we were cut open, it was shots at our goal from the edge of the box.

“All I can say is you’ve got to get tight on the edge of the box.

“You’ve got to have more intensity to your defending. We gave them all of the encouragement they needed.

“I want to see defenders with mud on their shoes and their shorts.

“Four or five of them have come off and you could put their kit back in the kit room.”

Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Patrick Brough and Anthony Glennon all had great chances to put the visitors two goals to the good.

And Cooper reflected: “Aaron Amadi-Holloway’s done well to swivel and I don’t know how the keeper’s kept it out.

“Broughy’s got a tap-in on the line from a corner to put the game to bed.

“But if you don’t do that you have to defend and you’ve got to defend better.

“It’s a lack of intensity and I don’t know where that’s come from.

“We’re had two really good team performances where we’ve been front foot and on the whole we’re willing to take a ball in the face to block it.”