Scott Flinders wants play-off push with Hartlepool United

DARK NIGHT: Scott Flinders dejected after Oxford score their goal. Picture by FRANK REID
DARK NIGHT: Scott Flinders dejected after Oxford score their goal. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United stopper Scott Flinders says he isn’t interested in personal accolades – all he cares about is trying to get Pools into the play-offs come May.

The 27-year-old has helped Pools record five shut outs on the trot at Victoria Park – the last one came in the 4-0 demolition of Bristol Rovers.

Flinders made history that day when he became the first goalkeeper to make 200 Football League appearances for Pools, celebrating in style with his 56th league clean sheet – another club record.

But the Rotherham-born stopper said while it was a nice achievement, all him and the rest of the team are concentrating on is trying to bridge a seven- point gap between themselves in 11th in Sky Bet League Two and seventh-placed Southend, starting with a home success against Mansfield Town tonight.

“It is a nice achievement,” said Flinder.

“I got the framed shirt earlier in the season for the 200th game in all competitions as well and it is always nice to reach milestones.

“But the bigger challenge is to reach the play-offs and that is the main challenge for me and for the rest of the team.”

The Vic has become a fortress in recent weeks, with York City, Scunthorpe United, Newport County, Torquay United and Bristol Rovers all failing to breach the Pools back-line.

Flinders puts it down to Colin Cooper’s side starting games well and remaining solid throughout.

The stopper, who joined Pools in the summer of 2009, said: “It is down to being really solid at home from front to back.

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“We have a special sort of bond at home at the moment and hopefully that keeps up for the foreseeable future.

“We start games well, especially against Bristol Rovers. That was probably the best start we have had to a game since I have been at Pools.

“We go back to the Vic tonight confident given the form of recent home games.”

When quizzed about his own form the former Crystal Palace stopper is remaining modest.

Flinders added: “I don’t like to look at stuff like the number of consecutive clean sheets etc.

“The main thing is we go and win games now, we have a challenge to pick as many points up as possible and try to sneak into the play-offs.

“That is all we can do.

“What we expect tonight is a lot of balls into our box and we’ll be working on stuff before the game around that.

“We fully anticipate what Mansfield will throw at us, we have to be up to the task and see what outcome it brings.

“The last few away games have been a missed opportunity but we go back to the Vic and have to try to pick up maximum points for the rest of the season from the home games.

“Away from home, let’s see what we can come up with.”