Liquidation could absolve Hartlepool United squad of blame for relegation, as that's what's on the horizon - Liam Kennedy's Eastleigh analysis

Fifty-one. That's the number of points Guiseley recorded last season to edge proud York City in the battle to beat the drop out of the National League.

Monday, 29th January 2018, 10:30 am
Michael Woods is congratulated on scoring ... but Pools again managed to find a way to lose.
Michael Woods is congratulated on scoring ... but Pools again managed to find a way to lose.

With 15 games to go, Pools have 34 points.

Using the last campaign as a yardstick, Pools need another 17 points from that final clutch of games to avoid the embarrassment of facing National League North football next season.

In fact, maybe this squad are the luckiest of all them, in a footballing reputation sense, anyway.

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Their excuses are already made.

Liquidation could well do the job for them and save this sorry bunch the shame.

Can you really see them scraping together 17 points in their next 15 games?

Look at their last 15 league games, a run which stretches back into Pools’ ‘good spell’ this campaign. They have managed to get just 11 points in that time.

Pools are hurtling towards the sixth tier at an alarming rate.

In the summer, their aim was promotion - automatic at that. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, they tried to build a squad for it and the prospect was spoken about from top to bottom at Victoria Park.

In the Autumn, expectations had been tempered somewhat. An acclimatisation to football at this level saw them falter, then work out how to get results. The play-offs, with a good end to the season, were a more than realistic proposition.

Now on the back end of the longest of long winters, survival is the one and only aim. The summer feels a million miles off.

Off the field, the fans must continue to do their job - back the club.

It is 100% on life support, don’t be fooled into the idea that administration and liquidation are an easy way out. Those scars will cut deep.

Those behind the scenes have to work morning, noon and night to get accounts in order, get cash into the coffers and fight back by finding Pools’ saviour, whether that be the fans, a white knight or by some other means.

On the field, the players must start doing their job. At the moment there is a dereliction of duty. Too many are too soft-shelled.

Some have been hurt badly by what has gone on in recent months. A number of players have bought new homes and had to deal with the stress of not being able to make mortgage repayments. Many have families to feed. It’s all relative. Many, like you and me, live hand to mouth, spending whatever comes into their pockets. I get that part of it.

What I don’t get is how they are not using this strife to rally together.

Running out on that field should be a release for them, but they’re playing like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

Turn a negative into a positive, if Pools are going, do it with some bottle, passion, fight. This bunch don’t seem to have that in them. It’s sad as plenty before them have - a line of players to wear the famous blue and white that stretches back 110 years.

On Saturday, Pools were better, not that you would get that by reading this analysis.

Some of the football was slick. Two of the goals were right out of the very top drawer.

The defending, though, was a joke.

Chris Zebroski was gifted a hat-trick on a plate. Louis Laing and Scott Harrison should hang their heads in shame at some of the marking. Not an organisational brain cell between them on this showing.

Craig Harrison might have replaced them had he been able to. An embargo means his hands are tied. Still, he did sign one of them. In fact, he signed six of the starting XI.

Four of the other five were a major part in the side that dropped out of the league for the first time in history, the worst Pools side ever.

Carry on and this lot will eclipse that. Who knows where and when this year from hell will end, but one day it will.

Stick to Never Say Die off the park, even if those on it have the white flags up.