Hartlepool boss Mick Wadsworth blamed his side's lack of creativity for Tuesday's 2-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat by Scunthorpe.
Pools were eliminated by two second-half goals from Iron striker Bobby Grant at Glanford Park.
"We weren't clever in the last bit of the field," Wadsworth told BBC Tees.
"We didn't have much from either flank, we didn't have many crosses and we didn't develop play on either side of the pitch," he added.
It was the second goal that most infuriated Wadsworth, as Grant fired home after a misplaced header by winger Andy Monkhouse fell kindly on the edge of the penalty area.
"That was just a gift," Wadsworth said.
"We had the ball in a safe area and it's an aberration by Andy. I don't know what he was thinking and I don't think he did either.
"He did it similarly last year at Sheffield Wednesday - he headed the ball back into an area that makes you think, 'what's going through his head?'
"He's got to get that out of his system now."