Walsall draw not good enough for Pools boss John Hughes

FLYING IN: Jonathan Franks in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID
FLYING IN: Jonathan Franks in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes admits that the goalless draw with Walsall was a result which Hartlepool United did not want.

The stalemate leaves them six points from safety with six matches remaining, Portsmouth’s win over Coventry City having also returned Pools to the bottom of League One.

Hughes’ side are now without a goal in nine hours, and the first-team coach told SportMail: “It’s a result we don’t want – we need victories.

“It’s another game without a goal as well and that’s a major concern.

“But as long as we’re still in there we’ll keep fighting.”

Pools had bossed the opening 45 minutes against The Saddlers but, amid the gales, they failed to create a single chance after the break.

“In terms of effort and shape and being resolute it was positive,” Hughes went on, “We didn’t capitulate like at Oldham.

“You are looking for a reaction from Tuesday and we possibly got one.

“Because we were so bad at Oldham there might have been some trepidation or fear, but we didn’t show it.

“But I’ve seen us play better, get on the ball better and that’s the disappointment.

“We tried to open up a wee bit in the second half to get Tony Sweeney higher up and bring the substitutes on to help the attack – it just didn’t materialise for us in terms of creating chances.

“We need to go and win games and we aren’t looking for excuses, but the conditions overhead and underfoot weren’t ideal.”

Hughes continued: “You have to praise the two defences, we probably edged the first-half and second-half was more Walsall.

“Sweens had a good header, Stevie (Howard) had a good header and at least we were creating and we had chances to work their goal.

“But we were thankful some of their players left their shooting boots at home in the second half and they fired over the bar when they could have worked us.”