MICKY Barron will name his strongest XI for tomorrow’s FA Cup First Round clash at Chesterfield – admitting the competition is “huge” for Hartlepool United.
Pools are bidding to avoid defeat at the first stage of all three competitions for the second successive season, and Barron knows the importance of progression to the club’s bank balance.
Not only that, the caretaker boss believes a cup run will benefit the quest to escape the League One relegation zone.
“The FA Cup is huge to us,” Barron told SportMail.
“We haven’t done well enough in recent years.
“A run brings in good revenue and it gives the players an extra buzz.
“There’s no squad rotation or resting players with us – we’ll be playing our strongest team to win the game.
“We’ll be playing our strongest team on Wednesday as well – we can’t rotate players.”
That means Barron is likely to stick with the team who drew 2-2 at Brentford last weekend.
The 37-year-old has spent a full week on the training fields at Maiden Castle continuing to get his message across to the players.
And he admits the mood in the camp is good.
“It’s been nice spending some time on the training pitch,” he said.
“We’ve done a lot of work on shape and drilling into them the way we want to play.
“The point last weekend was big for us – it lifted spirits, we really needed that.
“Everyone was happier on Monday.
“The important thing is getting the players to feel good about themselves.
“We’re trying to give them some confidence and make them realise that they aren’t bad players, because they’re not.”
He went on: “We started something on Saturday and we want to carry that on.
“It’ll be a similar approach, that’s the way I want to play whether at home or away.
“Hopefully we can finish off the chances we create because we were very good going forward last week.”
And Barron has revealed that his players enjoyed a team-building exercise with a hypnotist earlier this week.
“I wasn’t there, I told the staff it was important for the players to get together and have a laugh and try something different,” he said.
“He’s said that if any of the players want help on a professional level then he’s more than happy to do it.”
Barron will be without Andy Monkhouse (ankle) and Luke James (hernia) for the trip to South Yorkshire, while news is still awaited on Sunderland loanee Ryan Noble’s availability.
POOLS: Flinders; Austin, Hartley, Baldwin, Horwood; Murray, Walton, Sweeney; Franks, Howard, Noble. Subs: McHugh, Humphreys, Collins, Poole, Luscombe, Richards, Holden