LOU MACARI put his own disciplinary woe on a back burner today and told his disappointed Town team: "Hold your heads up with pride."
The McAlpine manager could be in hot water with the FA after being sent-off by Preston referee Graham Salisbury during last night's 1-1 draw with Brentford.
Macari was sitting in the staff seats behind the dug-out when Ben Burgess grabbed Brentford's equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time, wiping out Leon Knight's opener and providing a cruel finish for Town's lowest League crowd of the season - 8,518.
"The lads were brilliant in the second half and it was just so sad and annoying that we didn't get the result we deserved," said Macari today.
"The effort and attitude from the players was first class, they gave it their all and they gave the punters value for money with some very pleasing football.
"Sometimes in this game, though, you get punished for not finishing the opposition off, and we did one or two daft things in the final 10 minutes which shouldn't have happened.
"As I said last night, however, better teams than us defend poorly at times, and we have to remember we were playing a team who are at the top of the League and who were certainly not going to lie down.
"Personally, I thought the lads were terrific and the really frustrating thing about it all is when you see that many of the other games were drawn, so we lost the chance to make up ground."
Town have now suffered last-minute equalisers on three occasions, and those vital points lost leave them in sixth place in the Second Division despite a seven-match unbeaten run.
Macari elected not to slow play down any further by using substitutes last night after four minutes were stipulated and six minutes and 25 seconds extra actually played in the second half.
"The lads did ever so well and we looked in complete control of the game," explained the manager, whose Reserves play Lincoln at the McAlpine tomorrow (2.00) in the Avon League Cup.
"We were playing so well that I feel most of our players thought it wasn't necessary just to put their boot through the ball and re-organise further up the field, but that's what should have happened.
"We got punished for that, but I'm not going to complain about what they produced for us. All I will say to them is hold up their heads with pride because they played well, and get ready for Port Vale on Saturday."
On his disciplinary skirmish - Macari was sent-off at Portsmouth last season as well - the manager added:
"I don't know whether I will be reported or not, the referee never said.
"He just told me to go to the stand because he felt I was going outside the technical area.
"I was annoyed because I thought he made a wrong decision. He allowed Brentford an advantage but when they eventually lost the ball out of play, he awarded them a free-kick.
"It might seem only a small thing, but I was frustrated about it, the fans were frustrated about it and I ended up sitting in the stand."