'A little bit easier' – Gary Liddle looks on the bright side of short off-season for Hartlepool United ahead of Spennymoor Town clash
Less than a month after securing promotion to League Two, Hartlepool United are already back playing matches. And that suits defender Gary Liddle just fine.
The 35-year-old agreed a one year extension at Pools earlier this month and was one of the 22 players who played 45-minutes during Saturday’s 9-1 win at Runcorn Linnets.
He is expected to get a similar run out for Dave Challinor’s side at Spennymoor Town on Tuesday evening (7:45pm kick-off).
"The main thing is that everyone was able to get 45-minutes in two teams effectively and get our first run out of the season with plenty of goals and no injuries,” Liddle told The Mail after the Runcorn win.
“It’s about building minutes and there are plenty more games to come.”
Last month, Pools secured promotion with a penalty shoot out victory over Torquay United at Ashton Gate leaving them little time to prepare for the new season back in the Football League.
Players have had a much shorter break than expected but Liddle feels that has helped last season’s play-off heroes stay sharp going into the pre-season friendly matches.
“The short off season has probably made pre-season a little bit easier to be honest,” he added.
“It’s just been about getting into the swing of things more than anything because it’s only been a few weeks since Bristol.
"We’ve had a little rest but the balls are straight back out and we get back into the football pattern and these games are great for that.
“It’s one of those, we’re probably used to having four or five weeks off but we wouldn’t have it any other way when it means us being promoted.
"We’ll take it and be ready come the Crawley game on August 7 and I’m sure the manager will be bringing a few more players in along the way as well.
"From that side of things, he’s not got a lot of time to work with everyone but we’ll be ready, the lads will be fit and we’ve got some good games coming up with Spennymoor on Tuesday that give us the chance to build some momentum.”