Hartlepool Utd’s Austin hopes for good awayday at Cheltenham Town

Hartlepool United defender Neil Austin gets in a cross against Coventry City today. PICTURE BY FRANK REID
Hartlepool United defender Neil Austin gets in a cross against Coventry City today. PICTURE BY FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United have not quite become Jekyll and Hyde, but skipper Neil Austin would love to see them become their old selves again.

Ever since Pools went on their sensational early-Autumn run of four straight away wins – scoring 10 times in the process – they now cannot buy a win or a goal on the road.

Pools have lost three in a row on their travels, at Scunthorpe, Newport and Bury.

But tomorrow they visit Cheltenham who, despite an eight-match unbeaten League Two run, are not exactly prolific at Whaddon Road.

And Austin hopes a trip to the west country can prove fruitful for Pools.

“I’m not sure why [the away form has tailed off],” said the defender.

“I think we were unlucky at Scunthorpe, but never got going at Newport and Bury was not a good night for us.

“We’ll be looking to get our away record moving again at Cheltenham.

“I think we were pretty much at our best in those games at Mansfield, Sheffield United and Exeter and we need to get back to that level.

“Obviously there are some games we are not going to be able to do that and may have to change our style of play in certain areas of the field.

“But we have been working hard on the training field so we can try to get back to how we were playing.”

Cheltenham ‘stole’ 13th place from Pools last weekend with a 1-0 win at Morecambe.

It was a worthy win for the Robins with defender Troy Brown tapping in the winner from close range just 10 minutes from time.

“It’s quite an even match up,” said Austin. “They are just around us in the table.

“Cheltenham had a good result at Morecambe last week when no-one else was playing because of the FA Cup.

“They’ll be full of confidence after last Saturday but we’re going down there looking for a result.”

It will be Pools’ first visit to Whaddon Road since 2009 when Joel Porter scored the away goal in the 1-1 draw.