MICKY Barron admits his tactical reshuffle paid dividends during the 1-0 Boxing Day victory at Oldham Athletic.
The caretaker Pools chief adapted the adventurous 4-3-3 system previously seen under his stewardship for the trip to Boundary Park.
And the ploy – a 4-1-4-1 formation – certainly worked as Pools stifled their hosts and threatened on the break on numerous occasions.
So much so, Barron was disappointed when his side only returned to the dressing room at half-time with a one-goal advantage, James Poole having fired his sixth of the season on seven minutes.
But the second period saw the visitors revert to the gritty away-day displays of early season as they saw home the three points to end a run of four straight defeats.
And Barron reflected: “We set the team up to try to stop them doing what they’re good at – I’d been to watch them and knew what to expect.
“But it also gave us a chance to attack and create chances.
“It wasn’t a negative formation because we tried to get players forward with it and I was disappointed it was only 1-0 at half-time because we had some really good chances.
“After half-time we had to change our game a little bit and we battled, scrapped, ran and chased and that was pleasing.
“I thought everyone defended well and Scott (Flinders) did his job when called upon.”
SEE Tuesday’s bumper SportMail for full story