Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison looking to put another run together - starting with trip to Woking

Craig Harrison.
Craig Harrison.

A look at the National League table might not quite reveal it.

But Hartlepool United have already benefited from one good run of results.

And now Craig Harrison is looking to put another sequence together – starting with tomorrow’s trip to form outfit Woking (kick-off 3pm).

After a poor start to the season, Pools turned things around with a run of four wins and a draw, the good times ended by Eastleigh’s 2-1 win at Victoria Park last weekend, a result which moved the team down to 17th.

Despite that blip, Pools remain within touching distance of the top seven – the exclusive little club Harrison must have his team inside by mid-afternoon on April 28.

The Pools boss hopes they could be in there if they can enjoy a successful eight-day period.

A maiden trip to Woking will be followed by the resumption of hostilities with old Football League adversaries Barrow on Tuesday night ahead of them breaking new ground again, at Solihull Moors, a week tomorrow.

“It’s very tight in there with teams beating each other,” said Harrison. “Normally in a league, you get the gist of it after 10 to 15 games in and we’re 12 matches in now and it could go any way.

“We’re five points off the play-offs and seven off first place.

“That, as we’ve spoken about before, is just one good week.

“If we had a really good week and win our three matches then we’d really be amongst it, certainly in the top six, top seven, top eight.

“It’s a very up and down league, so a consistent run of six, seven, eight games unbeaten and then you are up the table.”

It has been a testing series for Pools, who have followed up wins over Guiseley and Maidstone, with matches against some of the division’s leading names – Eastleigh being the only side who had been below them in the table.

“Dagenham, Wrexham, Orient and now Woking are five top six teams we’ve played, it’s been a tough little period,” said Harrison.

“If someone said you’d take seven points from those games, I think you’d have taken it.

“A win on Saturday and that becomes 10 out of 15 and we’d be over the moon with that, especially when you look back at the start we’ve had.

“While we lost to Eastleigh, the positive thing from last Saturday was we created good chances, while the goals we conceded could have been avoided.

“It’s not like we got battered, I don’t think they had many other attempts, certainly in open play.”

Tomorrow’s trip to the Kingfield Stadium will be no walk in the park.

Woking, who include former Pools loanee Jason Banton, are in cracking form with three wins on the spin and five in the last six.

That return of 15 points from a possible 18 have catapulted the Cardinals, or Cards for short, up to sixth, one point behind leaders Sutton.

They beat the pacesetters 2-0 last time out at home thanks to a second-half brace from Charlton loanee Regan Charles-Cook.

And the Cards followed that up last weekend when they came from behind to win 2-1 at Fylde through Joe Ward and Jamie Philpot.

It’s a difficult assignment in Surrey, where Harrison will want Pools to learn their lessons from the defeat to the Spitfires – at both ends of the pitch.

“We can’t give away silly goals and not take our chances,” he said. “In the run we’d been on, we had taken our opportunities, chances that weren’t as good as Saturday.

“We’d taken half and three-quarter chances in those games but the ones on Saturday we had three great opportunities when we should have put at least one away, to add to Munnsy’s goal.

“I’d have liked to have gone through the whole season without conceding from a set-piece – I’m a big stickler for that.

“You could be undone by a great delivery, but this was down to poor defending.

“It’s something I won’t let lie – we have to defend the set plays well.

“I’m a big believer that if it’s a game, for whatever reason, you can’t win then you don’t get beaten. It was a match we should not have lost.”

Harrison wants his players to be sharp mentally and that means making sure team-mates keep each other right.

“There were individual mistakes but it’s a collective thing too,” he said. “The team needs to take control of the set-plays, giving reminders to each other.

“That micro-second of not getting your starting position right, can hurt us.”