Pools keeper Adam Bartlett opens up about losing his place to Trevor Carson
Trevor Carson is so good, Hartlepool United understudy Adam Bartlett admits he has no case for keeping his first-team spot.
In normal circumstances, after two outstanding performances in the starting XI, most number two goalies would be champing at the bit to hold down their place between the sticks.
But Bartlett is a realist.
He knows just how key Carson is to the Pools side.
And for that reason Bartlett is fully expecting to hand over glove duty to Carson for the visit to Carlisle United on Saturday, upon his return from international duty with Northern Ireland.
“I want Hartlepool United to do well and be successful and if that’s with Trevor playing and me on the bench then so be it,” said the 30-year-old.
“He’s done that well, I can hardly knock on the manager’s door for a chance.
“Trev’s save last week (at Grimsby) was unbelievable. It was such a pivotal moment at two goals up, they get one back and the place lifts off.
“The first save is ridiculous, he doesn’t see the ball until late and gets such a strong wrist onto it. The second he’s up straight away and spreads himself, the lad smashed it and it goes yards away. That’s Trev and what he does.
“He deserves to be away with Northern Ireland and being involved at that level. He deserves every accolade going his way.
“Trev is a really good friend too and he’s texted me before the game to wish me good luck and I’ve done the same with him. It’s not one of them where I’m watching like some goalkeepers do and wanting him to make a mistake.”
While Bartlett will be disappointed to drop out of the Pools side, he knows all he has to do is bide his time.
Because with Carson’s success comes international calls, which will keep throwing opportunities Bartlett’s way.
“I know I get to play when he’s away with Ireland,” said the keeper.
“And he’s away next month again, which will probably be the same week as the Checkatrade Trophy.
“So it gets me a game in before the league games.
“That worked for me this time. Tuesday (against Sunderland) was a benefit in a way, it was against a different team in Sunderland’s Under-23s, but I did a couple of good things, a couple of bad and it means I get it out of the way before Saturday.
“Hopefully that will work in my favour next time, too.”
Bartlett has been a spectator for much of the season so far. He has watched on while Carson & Co have produced the goods out on the park.
But former Gateshead, Hereford and Kidderminster keeper Bartlett says Pools have been far from perfect, especially at home.
Bartlett said: “It’s six games without defeat now, but we haven’t played the football we wanted to play.
“We were a bit sloppy in the final third after taking the initiative against Crawley.
“It’s a travesty that we let them back into it.
“We know we have to be better at home, because away from home we have been having some very good results and performances.
“At the minute, the way we set up and the mentality we have means we are a very good away team. But then how do you change that and become a very good home team?
“Away from home and the opposition are expected to be pushing forward and setting the pace of the game. We can sit a little bit deep and counter them from time to time with players we have – like last week at Grimsby.
“For the first 20-25 minutes we didn’t do a lot – then 10minutes later we are two goals up. It’s strange at times.
“At home, we have to play with a higher line, control the tempo and after the first 15 minutes I felt we could go on and coast it. Then the tempo dropped and we tried to see it out with clever game management and take the sting out of it, but then we never really picked it up again.”