Hartlepool Utd boss not looking to avenge Coventry City thrashing

John Hughes in his first game for Hartlepool United against Coventry City. Picture by FRANK REID
John Hughes in his first game for Hartlepool United against Coventry City. Picture by FRANK REID
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JOHN Hughes insists Hartlepool United are not on a revenge mission against Coventry City this weekend.

It was back in November during Hughes’ first game in charge at Victoria Park that The Sky Blues inflicted a humiliating 5-0 defeat.

It took the new Pools boss until February to enjoy his first home victory but since then they have narrowed the gap on safety to six points.

And Hughes says his men will only be focusing their energies on that bid for survival when they travel to the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

“Revenge is not a word I would use, definitely not,” said Hughes when asked by SportMail if the embarrassment of the reverse fixture still rankled.

“Coventry were far and away the better team that day.

“They deserved to win hands down and I was actually very impressed by them.

“But what I hope you’ll see this weekend is how far we’ve come since then.

“I don’t think we’ll get the same result and I think we’ll be giving them a very good game.

“It’s a bit of benchmark for us to see how much we have improved.

“We are a completely different proposition now but we’ve still got a bit to prove yet.”

With the scheduled midweek fixture against Oldham Athletic postponed because of the frost, Hughes could well name an unchanged side from the one which drew with Yeovil Town last Saturday.

“I haven’t got many options,” he conceded when pressed on the possibility for change.

“We’ve been nursing one or two niggles but the free week should mean they’re all okay for the weekend.

“Tony (Sweeney) is still coming back to fitness and Jack (Baldwin) and Jordan (Richards) are obviously missing long term.

“But we’ve only been beaten once in 10 matches with these boys who have the jersey so I don’t anticipate too much change.”