We would have lost earlier in season says Gary Liddle

Gary Liddle plays the ball out to the wing. Picture by FRANK REID
Gary Liddle plays the ball out to the wing. Picture by FRANK REID

GARY Liddle believes Saturday’s match is exactly the type of game Hartlepool United would have lost earlier in the season during the dreadful nine-game beaten home run.

The midfielder, who played the full 90 minutes in his first game back from a calf injury, says Pools are a much stronger unit defensively since Neale Cooper returned.

He joked after the game that both teams could still be playing now and wouldn’t score.

But the 25-year-old is confident the goals will start to flow again for Pools after a third successive game without scoring.

Liddle returned to the starting line-up after five games out with a troublesome shin injury, suffered during last month’s 3-0 home win over Notts County.

He impressed alongside veteran Paul Murray in the heart of midfield in what was a scrappy encounter with play-off chasing Stevenage.

But Liddle said the performance showed how far the team has come.

Earlier in the season Pools lost nine games at home on the bounce, including defeats to the likes of Wycombe, Tranmere and Yeovil.

Liddle, who said a draw was a fair result, said: “The likes of Wycombe and other teams, too many to think of, were tight games that we ended up giving silly goals away in.

“We are strong at the back since the new manager has come in and we have kept quite a number of clean sheets, especially away from home.

“It is something to build on.”