Hartlepool Utd boss doesn’t want players to hide ahead of MK Dons clash

Simon Walton in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID
Simon Walton in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes will only criticise his Hartlepool United players should they “hide” during the club’s relegation run-in.

The Pools boss insists his men will not find themselves the subject of his censure should an expression of skill fail to come off.

Indeed, Hughes – whose side are without a goal in nine hours – would rather his charges transported their training-ground confidence on to the playing field.

And the Scot uses Simon Walton as an example, the midfielder having been criticised during Saturday’s stalemate with Walsall for an elaborate back-heel which failed to find its target.

“People ask ‘what are you doing Walton with that back-heel?’,” Hughes said.

“But he is doing the bravest thing and trying to make a pass, getting on the ball.

“You won’t hear me shouting at anyone for that sort of thing, I don’t want players to hide.

“I wasn’t happy with it because it didn’t come off, of course, but I want that style of football in my team.

“I want my players to be confident, get a pass, take it back and take control.”

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And Hughes admits Pools are in desperate need of a “spark” to bring to a close their barren run in front of goal.

“We have to do something special, we need a spark, but we can do it,” he went on.

“You have to want to go and do it, be inspired to do it.

“Sometimes you see a player do something on the pitch, take the easy option, and you turn to the dugout and ask the boys if they would do that on the training pitch.

“They all say no, they wouldn’t, but they would get the ball down, take a touch, pass it, get it back.

“In the situation we are in that happens.

“But you have to have belief in your ability.

“At least Simon was expressing himself in making a pass on Saturday.

“If they are doing that, trying something off the cuff, then it could inspire others.

“That’s what I want to see in our next six games.”