Relegation has been a blessing in disguise for Hartlepool United – that’s the view of Scott Harrison.
Few could make the case to say Pools are better off outside of the Football League, nothing brought that feeling of lose home more than the National League fixture release this week.
But eternal optimist Harrison thinks Pools could thrive in the fifth tier, especially under the guidance of ‘positive thinking’ boss Craig Harrison.
Manager Harrison has brought the belief back to the Vic, according to the the 23-year-old.
And he thinks, as a club, Pools could be a lot better off taking one step back, to take a number of strides forward under their new boss.
“Relegation has been a blessing in disguise,” he said.
“We maybe would have been involved in another relegation battle if we’d stayed up, but now we are looking up and want to win the league.
“It’s a big change for all of us. It was so hard, week-in, week-out looking over your shoulder.
“While it was not nice to go down – it’s awful to have that on your CV, it has been nothing but positive since the manager has come in.
“He has made us all believe again.”
The change in the dressing-room, and out on the pitch, is stark.
Long gone are the dark days of fear, struggles and relegation, there is a swaggering confidence about Pools play now, something which was stifled under dinosaur Dave Jones.
Jones did not divide the squad, he united it – against the manager.
Harrison has come in and got everyone back on side.
“I have been here a long time now and I have had some managers who have been great and others who I have not got on well with,” said the defender.
“There is an aura about the new manager.
“He is enthusiastic, always encouraging the lads and as a player it is good to have someone in the dressing room who is always backing you.
“Under the new boss who knows what we could achieve?
“He definitely has us believing again, though.”