Paddy McLaughlin believes Hartlepool United DO have the quality to compete in the National League - but pressure is building

Hartlepool United have got the quality to compete in the National League, according to Paddy McLaughlin.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 12:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 2:32 pm
Paddy McLaughlin is congratulated after scoring Pools' winner against former club Gateshead on New Year's Day. (via Shutterpress)

But the midfielder thinks Pools have not dealt with the pressure, especially when his side are put under the cosh.

"The story of our season has been us looking like we would blow teams away then conceding and the game changing," said the former Gateshead man, who has two goals for Pools.

"I think we need to find a level of consistency.

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"We have shown that we have the quality in this squad to perform, we just need to make sure we start translating that into results."

At times this season, Pools have looked at home at the top end of the division.

Halves of football at Wrexham, Halifax, 60 minutes at Salford and 90 against Harrogate have proven that Pools can mix it with those at the very top of the fifth tier.

The problem has been that under Richard Money, and Matthew Bates before him, Pools have not been able to get any real consistency, hence why they find themselves floundering in the lower reaches of mid-table.

"We can play some great football and we can put teams away but we cannot do it week-in, week-out," said McLaughlin.

"The teams at the top end of this division find a way of doing it, now we must to that, too.

"When we get teams under pressure and we are dominating we have not gone on to get that second and third goal. That always means we are under pressure ourselves."