Ben Killip discusses the difference at Hartlepool United since Antony Sweeney took charge as caretaker manager

Ben Killip is in the form of his early Hartlepool United career with back to back wins, clean sheets and man of the match awards since Antony Sweeney took charge as caretaker.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 5:58 pm
Hartlepool United caretaker manager, Antony Sweeney during the Vanarama National League match between Aldershot Town and Hartlepool United at the EBB Stadium, Aldershot on Saturday 12th October 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

In Sweeney’s first game in charge at Aldershot Town, Killip made several strong stops as Pools claimed a 3-0 victory.

The England C international then carried that confidence and momentum back to Victoria Park as he kept his first shutout on home turf as Ryan Donaldson’s 61st minute strike confirmed a place in the FA Cup first round with a 1-0 win over Brackley Town.

But what has changed that had led to this sudden change in form since Sweeney took charge?

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“I think you could say there’s been a bit of luck involved,” Killip revealed.

“But mainly I think we’ve been more clinical the past two games and I think the manager [Craig Hignett] going was such a shock and it was a kick in the teeth for everyone. I think that switched us all on and helped us find that five per-cent extra just because we know it’s serious and we’re trying to go places.

“We’ve thought if it happens to the manager who was doing well with us then we’re next in line so we’ve got to perform because it’s our careers that we have to look after.

“It shouldn’t take a manager leaving to do that but we always knew we weren’t far off it.

“We haven’t been battered by anyone, it’s just luck hasn’t been on our side and decisions have been questionable so with more luck we’d be right up there so it’s unfortunate in that sense.

“It’s been a kick in the teeth and we’ve just found an extra gear almost.

“We’ll take it into next week, it wasn’t a great performance against Brackley but it’s not about that in the cup.

“It’s about the result and I’ll take another 29 poor performances this season if it means we’re getting results every week!

“We’ve just got to continue that and hopefully the performances start coming along with the results.”