Brian Honour has called on Hartlepool United’s fans to fill out the Vic on Saturday when he wants the players to give their all to keep the club in the Football League.
Pools have slashed their prices for the crucial game against Barnet at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium. Admission is just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and Honour hopes the fans will get behind Pools in a game he says is bigger than the 2005 League One play-off final.
If we win our last three games then we stave off relegation, it’s as simple as that, it has become a three-game seasonBRIAN HONOUR
“It’s a massive, massive match,” said the Pools legend. “Every year, certainly the last four or five, we seem to reach to reach the end of the season with a must-win game.
“This is bigger than Sheff Wed at Cardiff.
“Our Football League status is depending on this and the last two games which follow.
“If we fall through the trapdoor, it does not bear thinking about.
“What I will say to the fans is that I totally understand their anger, but Saturday is a day to fill out the ground and get behind the team.
“The fans can truly be the 12th man and when the Vic is rocking, there is no ground like it.
“I promise supporters that I’m as angry as they are – I’m a fan too.
“I was lucky enough to live the dream and play for Pools out there and now I’m a supporter.
“There are a lot of grievances being felt by the people.
“I hear stuff like ‘Higgy was sacked too late’, ‘Higgy was sacked too soon’, ‘Dave Jones should never have got the job’ and the like.
“But we can’t turn the clock back, it’s all irrelevant now.
“If we win our last three games then we stave off relegation, it’s as simple as that. It has become a three-game season.
“No matter what Newport or Cheltenham do, if we win those games against Barnet, Cheltenham and Doncaster we’re still in League Two next season.
“I’m not creeping up to the club or anything like that, but I am saying to the fans to put grievances aside, the players need all the help we can give them.
“If you haven’t been for a few games, or have not been all season, go to the Barnet match and get behind the lads.”
Honour, an inspirational figure for Pools a quarter of a century ago, wants the players to match the passion from the stands on Saturday.
“Pools fans will always back you if they see you trying your heart out,” said the winger, who was a promotion winner under Cyril Knowles and Alan Murray in 1991.
“I was probably not the best footballer, but I always gave my lot.
“The Hartlepool public still like me now years after I retired, because I ran my socks off.
“That’s what these players must do.
“I know football has moved on from when I played, but there is a lot to be said for the sort of team-talks Cyril would give.
“He’d come out with stuff like ‘roll up your sleeves, run faster than them, jump higher than them, tackle harder than them’.
“Cyril would demand that no stone was left unturned and that’s got to be the same this Saturday.
“Barnet will not be a walk-over – we have to be careful, they could come here relaxed and play with freedom.
“But if we start right, show commitment, be positive and aggressive, the crowd will be behind us.”
Honour believes Nathan Thomas could be a key figure for Pools against the Bees.
“Nathan is a match-winner on his day,” he said. “I love him to bits, he’s a great winger.
“His confidence is maybe down at the minute but, for me, he’s the best attacking player in League Two.
“He can win us the game, but it’s got to be a team effort too.”