Alex Lacey keen for Hartlepool United to set the record straight in Suit Direct Stadium opener with AFC Wimbledon

Alex Lacey says Hartlepool United are looking forward to having the opportunity to put the record straight after their heavy defeat at Walsall last weekend.

By Joe Ramage
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 7:00 am
Alex Lacey made his Hartlepool United debut in the 4-0 defeat at Walsall. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Alex Lacey made his Hartlepool United debut in the 4-0 defeat at Walsall. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

A new-look Pools suffered a nightmare start to the new campaign seven days ago, losing 4-0 to the Saddlers which came as something of a surprise following what was a fairly encouraging pre-season under new manager Paul Hartley.

Pools have had a summer of transition with as many as 14 new signings, including Lacey, who arrived from National League side Notts County in June.

And Lacey was one of eight new signings to be handed a debut in Hartley’s starting XI who were comfortably beaten in last week’s season opener.

Alex Lacey is hoping his Hartlepool United side can set the record straight against AFC Wimbledon. Picture by FRANK REID

But Pools have the opportunity to put that result behind them this afternoon when they welcome AFC Wimbledon to the Suit Direct Stadium for their first home game of the season.

And Lacey has revealed both he and his teammates are itching to get Pools’ first points on the board.

“Obviously it was a tough start. I think we went in there before the game quite optimistic but it didn’t go to plan,” said Lacey.

“But we’re looking to make it right and it’s really now down to the players to come together and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“It’s been a hard week. There’s a lot of things we need to sort out which you sort of get anyway with the new players and new staff.

“There’s philosophies and things like that which can take time to learn, but it’s just been a lot of hard work on the training pitch.

“You always take pre-season for what it is,” added Lacey.

“It’s about getting minutes and making sure people stay injury free for when the season starts.

“There were positives to take from pre-season, and we’re still optimistic we can bring that across into the season, but it’s early days. We’re certainly looking for a better performance.”

But how do Pools put things right on the pitch?

This afternoon they welcome a side who were playing League One football last season and who got their League Two campaign off to a bright start under new manager Johnnie Jackson with a 2-0 win over Gillingham.

“First of all just being more competitive all over the pitch. I think Walsall were more competitive than us.” Lacey told The Mail

“In pre-season the strengths were us being compact and, defensively, I thought we were very good. So just getting back to what our strengths were in pre-season and play more into that.

“On Saturday there were quite a lot of times where the gaps on the pitch were quite big width-wise, and vertically, so it’s making sure we play back to our strengths.

“You can only soul search so much before you have to go out on the training pitch and try and correct the things you’ve not been so good on.

“It’s going to be a tough game, especially coming off the back of a disappointing performance and result, but I think we’re all looking forward to setting the record straight and hopefully getting some points on the board.”