Hartlepool United to continue with 4-3-3 at York City in League Two

Tempers flare between Fleetwood Town's Antoni Sarcevic and Hartlepool United's Billy Paynte. Picture by Dave Howarth/CameraSport''Football
Tempers flare between Fleetwood Town's Antoni Sarcevic and Hartlepool United's Billy Paynte. Picture by Dave Howarth/CameraSport''Football

Sam Collins has praised Hartlepool United’s frontline trio of Billy Paynter, Rakish Bingham and Scott Fenwick and won’t rule out starting with that combination for a third game running, at York City on Saturday.

Collins, currently in charge of Pools during the absence of boss Ronnie Moore, said they had all intentions of starting the season with their preferred 3-5-2 formation.

The front three are the key – they are so honest, it’s non-stop work from those lads, they chase defenders down all game.

Sam Collins

But the 4-3-3 set up has worked like clockwork in the 2-0 victory over Morecambe and the 1-0 Capital One Cup upset at Fleetwood Town.

Paynter has bagged two goals and Bingham one thus far.

Bingham could easily have scored twice at Highbury in mid-week when Fenwick also spurned a great opening.

Collins feels the workrate of the trio has been the key to the success of the team to date.

“It’s brave to go away from home and play with three up front,” said the assistant manager.

“But it worked so well on Saturday against Morecambe we felt we would just stick with it.

“Up until the end of last week we had not thought about playing that system but then because of injuries we felt we had to change.

“Now we will see where we go again.

“The front three are the key – they are so honest, it’s non-stop work from those lads, they chase defenders down all game.

“We have three up front who work their socks off.”

Pools made 10 new signings in the summer and half of them are in the first choice XI at present.

All are contributing and Collins is happy that contribution is being reflected on the field with results as well as performances.

“I think we are starting to see now what we hoped for when we brought these lads in – honesty and effort,” he said.

“Lads who want to work hard for each other and the team, we have a great bunch of lads here now.

“I’m sure they are going to make everybody proud.

“If you could see the lads in the dressing room after the game on Tuesday you could see what it means to them.

“When you have lads with that willingness to work for each other you have half a chance – add that to their ability and we have a real desire to do well.”

Before Pools complete their preparations for Saturday’s trip to Bootham Crescent there is the small matter of the Capital One Cup draw tonight.

It is a rare treat for Pools and their fans to have any interest in the second round, given a barren run in the competition in recent times.

There will be 24 seeded teams going into the draw – 12 Premier League clubs not involved in European football and the 12 highest-ranked winners from the first round matches.

Collins wanted Manchester United though they do not feature until round three, but there are a number of top clubs they could get, plus all three of the big North-East teams.

“It would be nice for the club to get a big team away from home,” said the defender.

“It’s good to be able to look forward to the draw.

“Before the season started we felt there was a feel-good factor about the place and even without the football being on, things felt good around the club and we want to keep it going.”