BRYAN HUGHES insists it is still early in the season and is not concerned with the gap that has opened up between Wrexham and the National League leaders.

The Reds suffered a 4-2 defeat against Hartlepool on Monday and are down to 13th position, nine points behind table-toppers Woking.

Seven games have been played - Wrexham have won twice and draw three times - and Hughes said: "I am not worried, it is early days.

"I have got a lot of belief in the squad and we have got a lot of belief in each other.

"This league is very unpredictable, every team can beat everyone and unfortunately we lost.

"People will probably question it, four goals, and rightly so.

"We shouldn't be losing four goals with the amount of quality we have got in our team so we will address it this week in training, go again on Saturday and hopefully get some points on the board."

Akil Wright gave Wrexham a 38th minute lead at Victoria Park but Hartlepool equalised before the break and scored twice early in the second half to go 3-1 up.

Although Bobby Grant pulled a goal back, Hartlepool scored a fourth and Wrexham finished the game with 10 men after Jake Lawlor was sent off for the second time this season.

Hughes admits the performance was unacceptable.

"We worked extremely hard to try and get a foothold in the game and when we took the lead, I think we were on top at the time," said Hughes.

"It was about giving them a bit of belief at half-time to try and take the game to Hartlepool in the second half but that goes out of the window after five minutes when you find yourself 3-1 down.

"It is unacceptable - you can't do that away from home.

"You look around at the personnel and it is as if we just accept it now.

"I don't want my teams to be like that, I want them to have accountability and I want them to really know that it hurts people; especially five minutes into the second half, we can't defend the way we did.

"I felt the penalty was really harsh, that was the start of it really. To concede again so quickly afterwards was a bit of a killer."

Hughes is disappointed that Wrexham, who had a superb defensive record last season, are leaking goals.

"We scored the first goal at home on Saturday and concede within five minutes," said Hughes.

"We have got to get better at that. It's a bit of know-how.

"We have got a real attack-minded squad here this season but I don't want to lose them security blankets of clean sheets that we had last season.

"That was a big reason why we got to the play-offs and we can't lose track of that.

"The players are fully aware of that and sometimes it is just about going back to basics a little bit, just to get that defensive structure.

"The formation has changed slightly, maybe it is a bit more attacked minded but even still, some of the situations we got ourselves in and goals that we are giving teams at the moment, we need to work a bit harder to try and stop that, and be there for each other.

"I think we are a little bit individual at times and that needs to change."