Hartlepool boss Ronnie Moore said Tuesday's 3-0 home defeat by Bristol Rovers was "as bad as we've been" during his reign at Victoria Park.
Moore took charge in December 2014, helping Pools to preserve their League Two status in 2014-15.
The started team started this season with four wins but have only won once in their last nine matches.
"We were a shambles, We spoke about not being in the same position as last season," Moore told BBC Tees.
"I've bought new players in but that was shambolic, that's as bad as we've been since I came to the club.
"There was no energy, enthusiasm and we can't be having that."
Defeat leaves Pools 17th in League Two after 10 games.