Carl Magnay dreaming of scoring Hartlepool United’s winner against Doncaster Rovers

Carl Magnay wheels after in celebration after scoring at Crewe. Picture by FRANK REID
Carl Magnay wheels after in celebration after scoring at Crewe. Picture by FRANK REID

If Hartlepool United are going to pull off a Mission- Impossible this evening and beat Doncaster Rovers, who is your money on to be the hero?

Is it 14-goal Padraig Amond? Or wing wizard Nathan Thomas? The cultured Lewis Alessandra? Never-say-die Rhys Oates?

All good bets for a goal.

But what about Carl Magnay? The 28-year-old has two goals to his name this season – both at Crewe in a dramatic early-in-the-campaign 3-3 draw.

And he was brave enough to admit when he spoke to the media that he was day-dreaming about scoring the winner against the championship chasers.

“Absolutely, I think you have to,” he said. “I like to visualise stuff a lot.

“When I’m at home I think about me scoring the winning goal, improbable as that may seem, and going crackers.

“I think about that all the time. I listen to music that will get me up, that will motivate me, daft things.

“Everyone looks at games differently, but I do visualise us winning the match and enjoying the occasion afterwards.

“It’s all part of the positive process you have to take on board. You need to harness it and take it out onto the pitch and do everything you can to deliver it.”

So what does Magnay foresee? Perhaps a header from a set-piece?

“I was thinking of a 40-yard drive into the top corner,” laughed the former Chelsea defender.

“No, anything will do.”

Whether you scoff at such fanciful talk, Magnay’s positive outlook deserves credit.

Pools have to win for the club to have any chance of avoiding falling through the Football League trapdoor.

The scenario is quite simple. Pools must beat Doncaster and hope Newport do not get the better of Notts County.

If Pools win and Newport lose, Magnay and Co finish a point above the Welsh club.

Should Pools get all three points and Newport draw, the boys in blue stay up on goal difference.

“There’s no other way to approach it but to be positive,” said the right-back turned left-back. “No-one can mention the ‘R’ word at all.

“That’s got to be banned from the squad. all the boys have to believe that we can get the three points.

“Then it’s out of our hands in terms of what goes on elsewhere.

“In terms of effort and application I think that we’ll be on it.

“We are playing a good side, we know that.

“We’ll put in a shift where the fans can go away knowing we’ve given it everything.”

Magnay says the fact Pools will be roared on by a near capacity crowd will inspire the home players.

“There’s going to be fantastic support in the Vic,” he said.

“The club have done the right thing in dropping the ticket prices to get people in behind us.

“Players can feed off that, I certainly playing in front of a big crowd with all the noise.

“It could certainly give us a edge.

“Doncaster have obviously had a good season. They’ve done the job and they are up but they an opportunity to win the league on Sky.

“We’re under no illusions.

“They are a good side, with good players, but there are fine lines in this league. Generally, we’ve performed well against the top sides.

“We’ve looked a a good side against the better teams.

“We know it’s a game that we’re capable of winning if we give 100% and apply ourselves in the right way.”

Magnay looks set to start at left-back again despite being right footed.

“Call me Denis Irwin!” he joked in reference to the former Manchester United left-back.

“To be honest, I really don’t mind playing either side.

“For me, if I can get forward it’s an advantage playing on the left-hand side because I can use my left.

“I’m not restricted to coming inside. I can vary it. I can feint back onto my right as well.

“I feel I’m better gong forward, when you come inside the pitch opens up a bit, use my options better.

“I felt comfortable and enjoyed it.”

Magnay saw plenty of the ball last week, in both halves of the field at Whaddon Road, where Pools adopted an attacking approach.

However, he says 84-goal Rovers are a different kettle of fish and they must be on their guard and be wary of being picked off.

“If we leaves the holes we did at Cheltenham we’ll get exposed by Doncaster,” he said. “We are aware of that.

“When we go forward we need to make the right decisions.

“Sometimes we have a tendency to rush things at times, when we played Oxford last season they were very good at being patient, work the ball from left to right.

“If you keep the ball in the final third it gives you a bit more time to be organised at the back.

“But if you turn possession over too quickly you can get exposed.”

Magnay says the man at the back, Trevor Carson, will be a key figure for Pools after completing a remarkable recovery from shoulder surgery, taking over from on-loan stopper Joe Fryer.

“Trev’s presence is massive,” he said. “Joe has not done anything wrong.

“But Trev was always going to play when fit. He’s a great player to have behind us. As a defender you take comfort to know he’s there.”