YORK City manager Neal Ardley labelled his side's 3-1 defeat to Hartlepool United as 'embarrassing' before issuing an apology to the supporters. 

Goals from Jake Hastie, Tom Crawford and Nicky Featherstone saw Hartlepool claim the three points, alongside a stoppage-time consolation strike from Tyler Cordner, with York struggling to threaten their Vanarama National League counter-parts. 

York have now slipped back into the National League relegation zone after an underwhelming performance, with Ardley being brutally honest in his reaction to the defeat.

“Embarrassing. Embarrassing is the only way to describe it," Ardley admitted.

"I’ve got to apologise to the fans, 6200 here to witness that.

"I don’t know where to start, yesterday in training I saw it coming.

"Training on a Friday, you have about eight to ten minutes of 11 v 11 to make your mark and what you’re going to do, because you can’t work them too hard and there’s a certain limit.

"Training yesterday was that first half, I’ve had it before at clubs where training on a Friday has been like that and then you go out and it’s totally different on a Saturday, but that was exactly the same as training.

"The worrying thing, and the thing that bothers me, is that I actually feel like before games I have to ask the players to run around.

"To run with intensity and be dynamic, I don’t know what I am going to get, if I’m going to get it.

"It was laboured, the energy and the pressing of the first half at the front was none existent, at the back they could do what they wanted.

"They had an experienced back line, people in their late 20’s that don’t talk. When they’ve got a front three in front of them and they’re not talking, and all of a sudden they are playing to the sixes and sevens and leaving the players open.

"It’s not even tactical, it’s just a bit of communication and a bit of energy.

"In the second half,  we tried to simplify it because we knew that the next goal was going to be important, and we went for high energy, high press, man for man and we really tried to get stuck in.

"We started well and if we didn’t get counter-attack then it might be a different kettle of fish, but we do.

"Once the third goal goes in, it’s game over."

Ardley also demanded that the standards are raised by these current York players, with his eyes turning to the transfer market ahead of Tuesday night's clash with Oxford City at the LNER Community Stadium (7.45pm).

“The standards have got to be better, my worry is when I’m asking or I’m worried that we are running without intensity.

"It’s a sad place to be for a really, really good football club with brilliant fans, brilliant owners who really want to drive us forward and we might need to bring a few in that can do that."