Double training sessions for Hartlepool players as they bid to turn form around
Hartlepool United's under-performing players have been doing double training sessions '“ and they're quite happy about it!
Pools have slumped in form over the last month, winning just one out of their last eight games.
The run of bad results was topped by a humbling FA Trophy exit at the hands of Workington on Saturday, crashing out of the competition after a 1-0 defeat against a side two leagues below them.
Manager Craig Harrison has defended his players’ commitment and honesty, however, saying that everyone at the club is doing their best to drag themselves out of this bad spell.
And that includes extra sessions to analyse what has been going wrong, and how they can fix it.
“We’ve got an honest group of lads,” said Harrison.
“They’ve all worked hard in training and we are working hard off the pitch too.
“We have gone over the footage, looking at mistakes and goals and how we can improve parts of our game.
“The lads did double sessions last week and we’ll have another double session this week to try and nail things down. The lads have embraced that. They want to improve.
“Everyone, from myself through to the physios and the staff, are putting as many hours in as we can.”
The players returned to training yesterday still smarting after the Workington setback.
A chance of a trip to Wembley slipped from their grasp at the weekend, and Harrison’s focus now is on lifting the spirit around the camp.
“Everyone is still bitterly disappointed and so they should be,” he added.
“We are all gutted as we wanted to see how far we could get in the Trophy.
“It wasn’t the best pitch we’ve played on but that’s no excuse. We should have been good enough to see the game out and bring them back to our place at the very least.”
Pools return to action on Saturday when they host Maidenhead United, before a derby double header against Gateshead on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, with a trp to Chester sandwiched in between on December 30.
The four games represents a great chance to get some much-needed points on the board. Maidenhead, a place above Pools in 13th, are level on points with Harrison’s side, while Gateshead – who are 15th – have a point less.
Chester, meanwhile, occupy the final relegation spot in the National League table.
And for Harrison, the next fortnight could be crucial to Hartlepool’s hopes of making the play-offs.
“We’ve got a big two or three weeks coming up,” he said. “We’ve got four games in a short space of time and 12 points to play for.
“We need to look at it with a very positive mindset.
“If you come out with eight to 12 points it puts a different slant on it.
“We’re looking to get as many points as possible from this spell. We could be getting back towards the play-off positions.
“We need a win ASAP, that’s obvious. We are in a bit of a rut at the moment but the positive thing is that everyone is willing to dig in and tough this out.”