Don’t dwell on Doncaster defeat says Hartlepool United legend Ritchie Humphreys

GETTING STUCK IN: Ritchie Humphreys in the thick of the action at Doncaster Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
GETTING STUCK IN: Ritchie Humphreys in the thick of the action at Doncaster Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
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RITCHIE Humphreys insists one defeat will not “derail” Hartlepool United’s charge for survival.

Pools saw their seven-game unbeaten run brought to a close on Saturday as league leaders Doncaster Rovers cruised to a 3-0 victory.

But Humphreys – an ever-present during the turnaround which has revived their season – believes Pools will not allow their good work to go to waste.

“Saturday was very disappointing as the last two months we have been really at it – now it’s a case of how we react to it,” said the club captain, immediately shifting focus to tomorrow night’s visit of Colchester United.

“We can’t dwell on it, there’s lots of games coming up and we have to gee each other up to go again.

“We won’t allow one defeat to derail our season, it’s only one game.

“We won’t forget about it because we can learn things from it, but we won’t let it get us down, we’ve worked too hard for that to happen.

“Jack (Baldwin) walked past me at the end of the game and I said to him ‘look Jack, you will lose more games in your career’ and he will have a long career in the game.

“So we’ll come in today and go again because this Colchester game is huge for us.”

Pools are now eight points from safety ahead of the visit of the 19th-placed U’s.

With just 11 matches remaining, Humphreys knows that Pools will have to reproduce the form of recent weeks, which included five victories, if they are to avoid the drop.

And the 35-year-old says the team has restored pride in the club during that period.

“The past seven games have been very enjoyable,” he said.

“We have something in the dressing room that took us on that unbeaten run.

“The problems before Christmas - it’s all been written about and it wasn’t good enough.

“But we have put some pride back into the team, maybe not the quality of football at times, but the willingness to run for each other, battle for each other and support each other.

“That is what has got us results and we’ll look for it again tomorrow.

“Colchester are just above us so the chance to take points off them is one we cannot miss.”

Meanwhile, Humphreys admits that the playing surface at the Keepmoat Stadium at the weekend was far from ideal.

“The pitch was awful,” he reflected, “When we came out before the game there was no stud marks in it, it was dead flat and you could tell when you put your boot on it that it would turn up.

“It was lively and bouncy and we couldn’t play our usual game on it.

“We had to try and adapt and go down the sides but we couldn’t do it with any quality.

“We have to learn and go again now and all of our focus is on tomorrow night.”