Hartlepool United must play with the same intensity with 11 men as they did with 10
Hartlepool United's players must produce the same super-human effort they showed with 10 men when they have the full 11.
So says keeper Trevor Carson in the aftermath of Saturday’s exciting battle with Newport County.
Pools are still waiting for their first win at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium following the 2-2 draw with Newport County, but there was no shortage of effort.
The side were reduced to 10 players after Toto Nsiala was sent off just three minutes in for a deliberate handball.
But Pools fought back to take a point with the boisterous Vic faithful giving Craig Hignett’s side a standing ovation at the full-time whistle.
“Woodsy made a great point when we were talking about the game in the changing room,” said Carson. “He said we need to play with the intensity we showed with 10 men when we have 11.
“When we were down to 10 men, we seemed to run that little bit further and harder, and defended with more passion.
“That’s the standard we must now show for the rest of the season.
“It shouldn’t take us going down to 10 men to run faster and be sharper.
“Hopefully we’ll learn from this.
“We absolutely battered them, obviously with only 10 men we’ve had to concede possession but there was times we murdered them.
“I know life’s all about if onlys, but it’s very frustrating thinking what might have been.
“But I think, ultimately, we’ll take more positives from the game than negatives.”
Pools were 1-0 up before some supporters had even taken their seats, Nicky Featherstone scoring his first goal since joining the club after being set up by the excellent Michael Woods.
But hopes of a first home won were quickly extinguished by Nsiala’s early exit and Sean Rigg’s equaliser.
Jon Parkin, once briefly a Poolie during the reign of Chris Turner, put County ahead but Padraig Amond’s first goal at the Vic tied the scores before half-time.
“It’s an old cliche, but it was a rollercoaster,” said Carson.
“When we scored that early goal, the lads are buzzing and you think ‘everything is going to click today’.
“There are only two minutes gone and we’re 1-0 up at home to Newport, thanks to a great goal by Feathers.
“It’s a brilliant feeling, but football has a habit of giving you a kick up the backside – within two minutes the games has been turned on its head.
“If you were an in-play gambler, I’m sure the odds changed pretty quickly!
“I think the fact we played nearly 90 minutes with 10 men yet are disappointed with just a point shows what we’re about.
“We had the best of the chances – I’ve hardly had a save to make, which is a testament to the lads and the effort they have put in.”