YORK City manager Terry Dolan has vowed to wield the axe in the wake of the Minstermen's 3-2 home defeat to struggling Exeter City.

The City boss refused to hide behind the controversial ending that overshadowed Saturday's result, insisting City's downfall was self-inflicted due to defensive errors.

And ahead of Saturday's trip to Hartlepool, who have now gone bottom in the wake of the Grecians' victory, Dolan has pledged there will be changes.

"We didn't deserve to win because we defended poorly," said the City chief.

"It was due to bad defending and people not doing as they were told.

"If they don't do as they were told then I have got to do something about it."

The City manager gave an indication of his thinking when he replaced central defenders Mike Basham and Matt Hocking with just 15 minutes to go.

Skipper Chris Brass dropped from midfield into the back line and Chris Smith was handed his first appearance since his summer arrival from Reading.

The youngster could now be handed his first senior start at Hartlepool.

"Fortunately, we have got a squad recovering from injury and if we have a performance like that from a defensive point of view then I have got players who can come in and be given a chance," he said.

The City manager admitted the Minstermen had dominated the opening 30 minutes but revealed he sensed City were heading for a banana-skin.

"We didn't put the ball in the back of the net and probably over-elaborated again," he said.

"I just felt as a team after the first 20 minutes we had this feeling of 'it's going to be easy' because we were on top.

"But if you have a lapse of concentration at the other end when you have people like Sean McCarthy and Christian Roberts about you are going to suffer.

"The players were aware of that before the game and they were aware of it all week.

"They didn't listen so I can do something about that."

Updated: 10:25 Monday, October 08, 2001