Sarcevic feels responsible for cup exit

Billy Paynter scores Pools' winner
Billy Paynter scores Pools' winner

Antoni Sarcevic admits Fleetwood need to find their cutting edge having once again fallen at the first hurdle in the Capital One Cup.

A second half header from Billy Paynter saw resurgent League Two side Hartlepool cause an upset at Highbury, in the absence of talismanic manager Ronnie Moore.

He was absent dealing with a family emergency - assistant Sam Collins taking charge of Pools who had keeper Adam Bartlett to thank for their progress.

He denied David Ball twice from close range as Fleetwood staged a late fightback - Bobby Grant rattling the woodwork in added time.

But Sarcevic, who skippered Town for the second consecutive game, knows missed chances cost the League One hosts dear.

He took the defeat personally.

“The lads wanted a cup run and we’ve let ourselves down and everyone at the club down,” he told The Gazette.

“I’d say it’s not good enough but you’ve seen the game, there’s not much more we could have done.

“It’s just that cutting edge we’re missing, that’s all.”

Sarcevic, at 23, is one of the senior men in Town’s young squad.

But he insists the huge summer rebuild or the side’s relative lack of experience was not an excuse.

He said:”You can say it’s a young squad but if you’re good enough, and the gaffer knows his football, you’ll be playing.

“I don’t think age matters.

“It’s just killing games off, seeing games off that we’re not doing.”

Amari’i Bell could have put Fleetwood ahead in the first half, somehow failing to get on the end of a pinpoint cross from his skipper.

Jamie Proctor also put a header wide in the first half in which Fleetwood, at times, rode their luck.

But Town’s skipper knows they had enough possession and penetration to have found a way past the resurgent League Two side.

“You could name five or six chances,” he said.

“One or two go in before the break and it’s dead and burried.

“They’ve just come and played to snatch it.

“They’ve got the free kick, taken their chance and that’s that.

.”It’s poor defending from us, it’s lack of concentration and cost us.

“There’s Jamie Proctor’s header, Amari’i Bell’s chance, Bobby (Grant) hitting the bar.

“We’re just lacking it at the minute.

“It’s going to happen but it’s just frustrating at the moment.

“We should be winning that game.”

Town now face a North West derby at Oldham - looking to avenge a narrow defeat at Boundary Park last term and Sarcevic is desperate to put points on the board.

“We’ve said straight after we need to put it behind us, concentrate on Saturday.

“We’ve just got to work hard in the week now.

“It’s the next thing for us now - we’ve just got to focus on training for the rest of the week.”

And the former Chester midfielder admits he’s feeling the weight of responsibility that comes with the armband.

“It’s an honour to be captaining the team at my age,” he said.

“But I don’t think of age as a factor in it.

“I’m that sort of character, i just want to spur everyone on

“I don’t like it when we don’t win and I feel a bit like it’s on my shoulders.

“I just want to learn and be better as a captain.”

Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander was also left to bemoan his side’s lack of clinical finishing and a moment’s sloppy defending which ultimately proved so costly.

He said: “I’m scratching my head how we didn’t score

“It’s obviously cost us.

“We’ve had chances to score both first and second half and we haven’t managed to do it.

“Then we’ve been sloppy from a set piece.

“It’s cost us a run in the cup and it’s just a night of disappointment.”

He was left scratching his head over the lack of goals

“Wew created enough chances,” he said

“It’s a similar story to last year that we’re just not taking them

“We’ve got to correct that and soon.

“At the minute we’re not scoring the goals that we should be doing.”