Rival teams now take Hartlepool United seriously says James Poole

IN GOOD FORM: James Poole in action against Leyton Orient. Picture by FRANK REID

IN GOOD FORM: James Poole in action against Leyton Orient. Picture by FRANK REID

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“IT used to be the case that teams who played us thought it was an easy game – who could blame them?”.

Those are the damning words of James Poole as he reflected on the 23-match winless run which saw Pools slump to the bottom of League One.

But the striker admits it’s a different story these days - and he knows that more than most.

“Teams are actually setting up to stop us playing now,” Poole said.

“I’m finding that they’re trying to stop the space myself and Jon Franks have in particular.

“It’s a compliment in many ways but it’s up to us to find a way around that.

“A few months ago, teams used to play us thinking it was an easy – who could blame them?

“If we conceded one goal it meant we were beaten.

“We knew it couldn’t go on like that.”

And so, prior to last month’s win at Portsmouth – which was the outset of the current five-game unbeaten run – Pools held a clear-the-air team meeting.

“That meeting was brilliant for us and it proved to be the start of this run,” Poole went on.

“We said ‘we’re in this situation, what are we going to do about it?’.”

SEE Friday’s Mail for full story and more Pools news, views and features