Hartlepool United need to carry on right mentality in fight for Football League lives

Michael Woods in action against Plymouth
Michael Woods in action against Plymouth

Michael Woods has hailed the fight and character of Hartlepool United but added that their battling result against Plymouth Argyle can’t be a one-match-wonder.

Pools took their gifted opponents all the way, the match ending in a creditable 1-1 draw.

We need to maintain this mentality in all the games we have coming up


And Woods says there must be more displays like this – many more.

It was a crucial point in their fight for survival, though Pools actually dropped three places to 22nd in the League Two table after the teams below them won.

“If we can carry that bit of drive, desire, commitment on into the remaining games, put our heads and bodies in where it hurts, then I think we will be more than all right,” declared Woods.

“But it’s just one performance, one point.

“We need to maintain this mentality in all the games we have coming up.

“The teams around us won to make things harder but we still have those teams to play, so it’s in our hands.”

Woods was in tremendous form in the centre of the park, continuing from where he left off at Luton in midweek.

Pools had shown promise as a team at Kenilworth Road, only to lose 3-0 to a team looking good for promotion.

But they took their performance to another level on Saturday at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium against the second-placed Pilgrims.

They led just after the midpoint of the first half through a first league goal of the season from Rhys Oates.

Alas, Plymouth fought back to level 15 minutes from time thanks to a sublime goal from Matty Kennedy.

“The start was similar to Tuesday, it took us a while to get going,” said Woods.

“But I think that sums up us at the moment. We are a young bunch and results have not been going our way.

“But you saw the lift, the rise in confidence as soon as we got the goal from Rhys. We looked all right and on the front foot against a good team.

“We now need to kick on from this. It’s promising that it shows how far we’ve come in a short space of time, that we are a little disappointed not to have won against a Plymouth team I believe will go up.”

That there is regret in the dressing-room over a good draw from an inexperienced line-up following on from heavy defeats at Mansfield and Luton augers well.

“Plymouth are at the top end of League Two for a reason and I think they are one of the best teams we’ll see here this season,” added Woods.

“We’ve had a young keeper [21] making his home debut, a 17-year-old right-back making his home debut and Brad making his first start at centre-half and he’s still 21.

“Scotty and Kav are hardly old men at 23! Plymouth are table-toppers but they’ve gone home knowing they have been in a game.

“It’s disappointing that we only drew, having been in the lead for so long but you have to put it into perspective, Plymouth are one of the best sides in the division.”