Scott Harrison insists he is a changed man for Hartlepool United.
And it’s a change for the better.
I am not losing my rag like I might have done at one timeScott Harrison
Harrison has been a tower of strength for Pools at the heart of the defence, recognised by the fact he has just signed a new and improved contract at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
The 23-year-old has led from the front, so to speak, and has revelled in his role as the senior man at the back.
And that is where the ‘new Scott Harrison’ has been so vital.
He has cleaned up his act dramatically - in the first four months of the season he collected six yellow cards and one red.
But the transformation in 2017 has been astonishing - just three bookings.
“That’s not bad for me,” laughed the Teessider who will be trying to put the brakes on Portsmouth’s promotion bandwagon this Saturday at the Vic.
“I have been quite calm I think.
“I am not losing my rag like I might have done at one time and I think that’s because I’m playing better.
“If I’m playing well and in the right positions I don’t need to be doing any rash things.”
Harrison came close to blotting his copybook with an unseemly squabble with Paris Cowan-Hall in the dying minutes of the defeat to Wycombe.
Defender and forward had a spot of handbags just moments after the away sub had put the Chairboys into an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Luckily it was ‘only’ a yellow card apiece and they were both fortunate to receive leniency from referee Dave Webb.
“I lost my composure,” said Harrison. “I shouldn’t have, but there was a lot of frustration.
“But I think I’m now much better disciplined.”
Harrison and fellow defenders, Brad Walker, Liam Donnelly and Nicky Deverdics, are going to have to be at their disciplined best this weekend, given the form Pompey are in.
But the ex-Sunderland defender says Pools will rise to the “challenge”.
“I feel as though we play better against the good teams,” he explained.
“It’s more of a challenge, you want to challenge yourself against the best.
“You can’t really say Blackpool were better than us and I think it was the same when we played Plymouth.
“If we play the way we did on Saturday, we have a chance.
“We’ll be able to move the ball better on our pitch.
“In our league, anyone can beat anyone, Portsmouth lost to Stevenage and we dominated Stevenage at home
“This is another massive game.
“If we can put them away and the teams below them don’t get a result then we won’t be looking over our shoulders as maybe we are now.”