League One survival would be one of Hartlepool Utd’s ‘biggest ever’ seasons

Antony Sweeney after scoring against Oldham Athletic. Picture by FRANK REID
Antony Sweeney after scoring against Oldham Athletic. Picture by FRANK REID
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ANTONY Sweeney believes that League One survival would represent one of Hartlepool United’s “biggest ever” seasons.

The midfielder is well aware that efforts so far this term have not been good enough and is saddened by the very real threat of relegation.

However, Sweeney insists that Pools must accept their current plight and do all they can to escape what many have labelled an inevitable demotion to League Two.

“Everyone has written us off, but there are plenty of matches to go and it can turn around quickly,” the 29-year-old sounded ahead of Saturday’s trip to Walsall, with new boss John Hughes set for his first game on the road.

“The only thing we can do is believe in ourselves and believe in the gaffer.

“The thought of being a League Two footballer isn’t a nice one – and that’s no disrespect to players in that division.

“But we’ve worked hard to get this club regarded as a good League One club.

“Relegation would ruin that and would affect the town – we desperately don’t want that to happen.

“But as the gaffer said, if we can prove people wrong and manage to survive then it could be one of the biggest seasons in the club’s history.”

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The current table does not make for good reading and defeat on Saturday could leave Pools as many as 13 points adrift of safety heading in to the two-week break.

And Sweeney admits: “I try not to look at the league table.

“You can start looking at fixtures and thinking ‘we need this here, that there’ and it makes you panic.

“I know it’s a cliché but it’s all about the next game.

“We’re not going to get out of this in the next two or three games.

“We’ve got to go to Walsall on Saturday and make sure we get something.”