Hartlepool Utd take hope from unbeaten home record ahead of MK Dons clash

Neil Austin in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID
Neil Austin in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID
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NEIL Austin is keen to focus on Hartlepool United’s unbeaten home run heading in to what he admits will be a “make or break” Easter weekend.

Perhaps lost amid the despondency of three consecutive goalless draws at Victoria Park is the fact that, in seven matches, Pools are without defeat in their own back yard.

On Friday they welcome MK Dons to The Vic, Karl Robinson’s side having slipped away from play-off territory to the obscurity of mid-table.

Austin says that is not a reason for complacency and he would rather focus on the positives from a Pools perspective.

“We really have turned it around at home,” the long-serving full-back told SportMail today, Pools six points from safety with six matches remaining.

“We ‘d always said that was one of our aims, without the home form we weren’t going to do anything.

“As it is we’ve given ourselves a chance of staying up.

“While it’s possible it’s all the lads are talking about in the dressing-room.

“We know that Easter is huge for us, two games in four days could be make or break.

“We know the quality that MK Dons have but we’re unbeaten in seven at home and that’s a major positive for us.

“The recent draws have been frustrating but we’ve

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still picked up points and one of those could be crucial come the end of the season.”

Pools have 72 hours to recover following Good Friday’s visit of The Dons before they venture to Stevenage, another side whose promotion ambitions have faded since the turn of the year.

For Austin, though, he is not concerned about the aspirations of the opposition.

“We’ve played teams at the top and won and teams at the bottom and lost,” he went on.

“You can’t focus too much on the opposition.

“At this stage of the season you might say some teams have nothing to play for, but then there’s no pressure on them.

“We have to keep focused on what we’re trying to achieve and that is staying in this division.

“We can still do that and we know a couple of wins over Easter could change everything – it’s still possible.”