Hartlepool United can beat ANYONE in the National League - Nicky Featherstone
Hartlepool United feel unbeatable at the moment - that's the view of midfielder Nicky Featherstone.
The 30-year-old, who celebrated his birthday with a goal in the 2-1 win at Halifax Town on Saturday, has been an integral part of the Pools XI who have stretched to a nine-game unbeaten run in the National League.
As well as that, they won their last four on the road, a run not equalled since 2006.
Confidence is the key factor, according to in-form Featherstone, whose side travel to promotion rivals Salford City, also nine games unbeaten, tomorrow evening.
“We have not been beaten since March away from home. There’s something in that,” he said.
“I think that kind of run shows the team spirit we have here - they type of lads we have here that are willing to roll their sleeves up and get the job done away from home.”
On the away form, Featherstone, who now has three goals for the season, continued: “I think the confidence on our travels comes from the results at the back end of last season. It has continued into this season.
“We have started the season well. Confidence is the biggest thing in football and it is with us at the moment.
“We are going into every game thinking that we can win, whoever the opposition.”
Having found his goalscoring boots this season, Featherstone has already doubled his Pools career tally, having scored just three times in his previous three seasons.
One more goal and he will equal his career tally previous to this season since he turned professional.
Featherstone has also struck up a formidable looking midfield partnership with Liam Noble, with the duo racking up NINE goals so far this season, including the two against Halifax.
“I have just hit it and it has gone right in the top bin,” said Featherstone of his strike.
“I couldn’t have hit it any better really.
“It is just one of them when it leaves your boot you feel like it has got half a chance. And luckily for me it has gone in the top corner.”
Celebrating in front of nearly 1,000 Poolies down at the Shay made the strike all the more special.
“It was great to see so many fans out to support us,” said the midfielder.
“They were very good, very loud. It was a great feeling.”
Reflecting back on the weekend that was, in which the Shaymen ended up with nine men after the sending off of Matty Brown and Matty Kosylo, Featherstone revealed it is easier said than done playing against a team who have had TWO players given their marching orders.
“It was a bit bizarre,” he said.
“I didn’t see the incident but Peter (Kioso) should have scored to be fair,” said Featherstone.
“Nobsa has taken his penalty well and that’s that.
“I don’t think I have ever been involved in a game like that where, within five or ten minutes, the opposition is down to nine men.
“In a way it can be difficult against the team when they have nine, as the game can, with the greatest respect, become too easy. The pace slows down and you have all the ball.
“The key is just to keep concentrated and do the simple things well. We did that apart from at the end where we let our concentration slip and it made for a nervy end to the game.”