MICK Wadsworth said he was “immensely proud” of his players after a patched-up Hartlepool United came so close to victory in last night’s stalemate with Huddersfield Town.
Pools entered the game without four senior midfield players and there were doubts over another quartet as late as yesterday morning.
Antony Sweeney (groin), Gary Liddle (fractured cheekbone), Nobby Solano (hamstring) and Nathan Luscombe (suspended) were all missing.
While Neil Austin and Evan Horwood, with the help of a dip in the North Sea, overcame dead legs, skipper Sam Collins fought off an Achilles problem and Colin Nish declared himself available despite the birth of his first child just 24 hours earlier.
Ritchie Humphreys, Colin Larkin and James Poole were all recalled and played their part in a gallant display against the title favourites.
And it was a performance which won warm praise from a delighted, yet slightly regretful, first-team coach Wadsworth.
“The performance was better than the result in the end and we should have won it,” he told SportMail.
“If we perform like that, week in, week out, with that intensity then we will do quite well.
“When you think of the losses we’ve had over the past week with injuries and suspension then it is an incredible effort.
“I’m immensely proud of the boys and for a 0-0 draw it’s as good a performance as I’ve ever had.
“But they will be relieved to get away with a 0-0 draw. They had very few chances or opportunities but we’ve had a few.”
Full story in Wednesday’s Mail