The Iron were beaten 2-0, and Knill felt there was not enough attacking intent - especially in the first 45 minutes.
"We're trying to win games but it looked like we were just happy to keep the ball at the back," he said.
"We didn't go forward and seemed to lack energy or enthusiasm. We were better in the second half and had more chances, but you've got to do more than that to win football matches.
"At the moment we're not doing enough. As a team and as a squad, we all understand that it's not good enough"
There were few positives for Knill to draw on, and made clear he had asked his players to adopt a more direct style at times.
"We didn’t come out of the traps and do the things we worked on. That’s a worry, we were still missing those vital bits. Until we get that right, it’s hard to win matches," he said.
"Our game plan isn’t working, we lack experience. We were sloppy and slow first half, no tempo too many touches, all the things we told them not do.
"Passing, we need to be more direct. We roll over at times. We never said take 10 passes in our half – take two and get it out there.
"Some bits are ok, but we are waiting for players to step forward and be dynamic, to show what they have got."
Neale Cooper, the Hartlepool manager, was relieved to see his side register their first win of the season.
"It was a bit of a mixed day. We won and that was all we concerned ourselves with," he said.
"At 1-0 you are hanging on a bit and we didn’t start the second half well. We missed a bit of sharpness after no game last week. We need better at times, but we will take a win – we’ve played a lot better and lost games.
"I was frustrated with the performance because we gave the ball away needlessly at times. Overall it’s pleasing to win."