SCOTT Flinders admits the last thing Hartlepool United wanted was another enforced mid-winter break.
Pools’ first-round exit from the FA Cup means they have no fixture this weekend, just as was the case in early December.
On that occasion new boss John Hughes used the free fortnight to get down to work with his players at Maiden Castle.
But this time, says Flinders, the Pools camp are desperate for games, especially given the confidence-boosting victory at Sheffield United last weekend.
“We want games coming up thick and fast right now,” said the 26-year-old goalkeeper, who was part of the side beaten 1-0 by Preston North End on New Year’s Day.
“This time we probably didn’t need the break.
“We wanted to build momentum after the Sheffield United win, that gave us all a huge boost.
“It was disappointing not to follow that up against Preston, we were desperate to do that.
“So ideally we’d want more games because we know things have to improve.
“But we’ll have to make the most of this break ahead of Shrewsbury and come back and produce something similar to Sheff United, that showed what we can do.”
Pools – bottom of League One and 11 points from safety - return to action a week tomorrow when they travel to Shrewsbury Town.
The mini-break gives Hughes the chance to further drill his passing principals into his side on the club’s Durham training pitches.
And Flinders knows all about the Scot’s footballing ethos having played under him at Falkirk in 2008.
“I already knew how the gaffer works and how he wants to set his teams up,” he went on.
“The lads are beginning to grasp that and we’ll continue to works towards that style.
“He had the same philosophy back then at Falkirk.
“He’s a man-manager who likes to get amongst his players.
“He was one of the lads really.
“But on the other side he’s the sort of manager you respect.
“I told the lads all about him and they’re finding that for themselves.
“Even for me, I’ve had to adapt to the way he wants to play football.
“If I’m better with my feet and my distribution improves then that’s brilliant.”