AS the only Hartlepool United outfield player contracted to the club beyond the end of this season, Evan Horwood could be forgiven for reserving judgement on next year’s League One chances.
The Pools-born defender and second-choice goalkeeper Andy Rafferty are the only two members of playing staff whose deals do not expire in June.
Horwood has impressed during his debut campaign at Victoria Park having joined on a free from Carlisle United last summer.
And, despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of his team-mates, the 25-year-old believes that, in Mick Wadsworth, Pools have the right man to build a squad capable of challenge at the top end of the table next term.
“Mick has been brilliant for me and he’s done a top job this year,” Horwood told SportMail.
“I can’t really comment on the past few seasons because I haven’t been here, but all of the lads say it’s been really good this year and the league position shows that.
“No-one really wants to be going into the last match of a season needing a win or a draw, or even worse relying on other teams.
“But we’ve had a good season and it’s all about kicking on next year.
“It looks like Mick is already planning a few things and that’s good to see.
“I think with a few more players in certain positions we can improve and push for the play-offs, we nearly did that this year and it’s a shame we didn’t.
“But to be safe with four or five games to play is brilliant.”
Read the full story in Thursday’s Mail ...