Hartlepool's Padraig Amond says team must learn to '˜win ugly'
Hartlepool United are currently incapable of winning ugly, according to centre forward Padraig Amond.
And if Pools have any hopes of achieving their lofty ambitions this campaign, it’s a skill the Irishman believes his team-mates have to pick up quickly.
Amond led the line as Craig Hignett’s men were beaten 2-0 at Adams Park on Saturday.
Despite creating a handful of half chances, Pools were never really at the party, as Wycombe ran out comfortable winners in the end, courtesy of a Scott Kashket double.
In fact, 2-0 was probably kind on the visitors, who looked uncharacteristically toothless in attack.
While Pools have a reputation for being one of the more easy on the eye teams in League Two, they are also, on paper at least, one of the teams who look set to struggle this season.
Amond thinks it is a travesty that a squad of such talent finds itself towards the lower end of the fourth tier standings - Pools are currently 18th in the League Two table.
But the former Grimsby man also understands it could be that strength, the ideal of playing football the right way, that could be their biggest weakness.
His reason being that when teams mix it and play “ugly”, Pools find it very difficult to deal with.
Amond reckons that although Wycombe were far from pretty, they made sure they won the game, no matter what the tactic or style.
“They got their tactics spot on,” said Amond. “They were in on us as soon as we got the ball. They came at us in groups.
“Every time we got the ball they had players around us - maybe we need to be a bit more like that in the way that we play.
“They weren’t dirty but they did the nasty side of things much better than we did.”
Expanding on that theory, Amond thinks Pools have to learn from the way Wycombe got their success at the weekend.
He continued: “Maybe we need to be a bit more nasty. We need to do that side of the game better.
“There is nothing wrong with winning ugly.
“It is OK going out there to pass the ball about right and beat teams that way but we could maybe be a bit more direct.”
Not one to dwell on the result too much, Amond hopes the team can just move on from what was an instantly forgettable performance down south.
“I don’t think it happened for anybody,” said the striker. “It was just a bad day at the office for the team. We have been very good on the ball in previous games but it was not that way on Saturday.
“It was a disappointing game from start to finish for us. I think we got bullied a little bit.
“It is just a one of those games that you have to put behind you and move on from it. It is something we have to learn from.”
Having done so in quite high profile fashion a few weeks ago, with little end result, Amond does think another inquest is in the offing behind the scenes at the clubs’s Maiden Castle training base this week.
“We need to watch this back, see where we went wrong and make sure that the same things do not happen again,” he said. “This can’t keep happening to us. At 1-0 I felt we were still in the game.
“No matter who or where you are playing, if you are only one goal behind then you are in the game.
“But maybe a wrong pass here or a bad decision there has cost us the chance of getting anything from the game.”
“In the end we need to be disappointed with the goals we actually conceded.”