'˜Let's knock them off their perch' - Andrew Davies says Leyton Orient trip holds no fear for Hartlepool United
Hartlepool United's trip to second-placed Leyton Orient holds no fear for Pools' skipper Andrew Davies.
Matthew Bates men sit four places and five points behind the O’s ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brisbane Road, after getting back to winning ways against Boreham Wood last weekend.
And Davies is keen for Pools to take confidence from the last result and use it to knock Orient “off their perch”.
“It will be tough, but let’s knock them off their perch, that’s the biggest thing for me,” said the 34-year-old captain.
“I love going away to play the best teams.
“Are they the best team? Obviously they are showing they are one of the best at the minute, but let’s see, I’m looking forward to it.”
Boreham Wood last, and Orient this weekend are just two parts to what looks like a massive month of football for Pools.
Manager Bates last week suggested the next few weeks could be make or break for Pools’ season.
It may turn out to be too early for that, but results will have a big say in their success this season off the pitch as well as on it.
An FA Cup tie against Kidsgrove Athletic or Workington, with the winner progressing to a potential money-spinner in the first round proper is followed up by games against ninth and fourth-placed Sutton United and Wrexham respectively.
“It’s going to be massive, that was getting the win last weekend was so big,” he said.
“It gives us a bit of confidence going into a tough month.
“When you look at our team on paper, there is no reason why we can’t go away and get results against these teams.
“It’s going to be a big test and I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s fair to say expectations have risen because of how well we are doing but in the camp we are calm and collected.
“It really was a fantastic three points before we go to Leyton Orient. We go with confidence.”
Davies has not only added experience and nous to the Pools backline, he’s also brought goals with him.
His first two strikes in blue and white were no shock to anyone who has seen Bates’ men this season - with the centre-half aggressive from set-pieces in both boxes.
The former Middlesbrough, Ross County and Bradford City player says it was “massive” to break his duck for the club he supported as a boy, especially after a busy schedule and a bad injury this season.
“It was massive,” he said.
“Obviously I had a bad injury but to have come back and had just a couple of training sessions and then gone on to play three games in a week was massive. It was a boost knowing that my body could do that.
“It’s not easy at 34 to have had a couple of days training and then chucked back in.
“It obviously shows that doing the right things in training and looking after myself off the the pitch has proved massive.
“It helped me this week not having that Tuesday game, I felt fresh, it showed and I feel really happy.”
On their travels Pools have lost just once this season. In fact, it’s once since March under Bates.
They have had little trouble setting up for points away from the Super 6 Stadium. At home, though, things have been less straight forward.
“Getting that first win since August at the Vic was positive,” said Davies of the Boreham Wood victory, which took Pools back up to sixth in the division.
“Ten minutes to go, 1-0 up. We’ve lost the lead what, three or four times this season.
“It’s always in your mind something like that, but I’m very proud of the lads for digging deep.
“It’s a massive boost for us.
“Our home form has to be better, the boys now that.
“Hopefully today it gives us that little boost that for the next home game we do it again.”