Hartlepool boss Mick Wadsworth could not fault the desire or commitment of his players as they went down 1-0 at home to promotion-contenders Huddersfield.
Anthony Pilkington's 14th goal of the season extended the Terriers` unbeaten run to nine games as he got behind Pools` defence to shoot low past Scott Flinders after 11 minutes.
Wadsworth said: "It had the making for a good, competitive game. They played some decent first-half stuff without opening us up and in the second half we came out well.
"We had to be compact and hold a high line, win the loose balls, second balls and the like. When we did that we created some fantastic opportunities without scoring. We didn't take our chances and it's been a problem at times. In terms of the balance of the game, I'm proud of the players."
Wadsworth admitted he was keen not to get involved in any touchline confrontations as tensions threatened to boil over.
He said: "We are frustrated, I try not to get involved when I see antics in dugouts. I'm a big believer in sportsmanship, I'm desperate to win, like the next guy, but you have to act with some integrity. It's a frustrating game and it was difficult for the referee in the end."