Port Vale manager Micky Adams slammed his side's first-half performance in the 2-1 defeat to League Two leaders Torquay at Vale Park.
The Gulls were two goals up inside the opening 28 minutes as Nicky Wroe scored from the penalty spot and Chris Zebroski added a second from close range. Anthony Griffith pulled one back for Vale, who lost 6-0 at Fulham in the second round of the Carling Cup on Wednesday.
Adams said: "I'll defend my players all day when they deserve it, but some of them have been very average in the last two games."
He added: "We have to give credit to Torquay because they are a good side, but the way we started the game wasn't right and we have to be better than that. You have to start with an intensity and a passion, but we sat off them and were soon 2-0 down.
"I'm not making any excuses. The Fulham game had nothing to do with what happened here and we will be in for Sunday morning training to work on things.
"But it's certainly not all doom and gloom. We have lost to a good side who are flying at the top of the table and not to a team who are struggling near the bottom.''
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