Barron hopes for big things from Hartlepool United duo

INSTRUMENTAL: Antony Sweeney

INSTRUMENTAL: Antony Sweeney

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MICKY Barron hopes that the influential Hartlepool United players who have suffered a dip in form will emerge from that slump heading into 2012.

The coach admits it is no coincidence Pools’ results have suffered during a period in which key men such as player of the season Antony Sweeney and Gary Liddle have not been hitting the heights expected of them.

But Barron believes the midfield duo can be instrumental as Pools bid for a fresh start under new manager Neale Cooper.

“Gary and Tony are both big players for us,” Barron told SportMail.

“They’ll admit they haven’t been as good as they would demand of themselves.

“But we saw in the win at Oldham on Boxing Day how valuable they are when they were both brilliant.

“That was the best I’d seen Lids play in a long time. We gave him a little bit more freedom to go forward and attack that day and he’s good at that.

“Tony as well had a very good game that day and looked like his old self.

“He was full of energy and won a lot of headers.

“We need him back to his best because he’s consistently shown how big a player he is for us.”

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story