Everything Paul Hartley said on Hartlepool United's clash with AFC Wimbledon

Hartlepool United are preparing for their first home game of the season at the Suit Direct Stadium as they welcome AFC Wimbledon.

Paul Hartley took his first official game in charge of Pools last week at Walsall and will be looking for a significant improvement from his side after a disappointing start to the new season where they were heavily beaten by the Saddlers.

But the new boss has seen a positive response from his players this week and is expecting a reaction in front of a vibrant home support.

And here is everything Hartley had to say ahead of Pools’ clash with Wimbledon.

Paul Hartley is looking for a reaction from his Hartlepool United side against AFC Wimbledon. Picture by FRANK REID

What’s the reaction from the players been like this week?

It’s been good. The players know they didn’t perform well. They know they let themselves and the supporters down. But I’ve had a good reaction this week.

It’s one game. Maybe you’re better getting those games out of the road early in the season. I expect a big reaction from the team on Saturday, playing in front of the home fans.

They’ve trained really well this week. They’ve been really aggressive in their work, so we’re looking forward to the game. We want to start with a victory at home in front of our supporters. It’ll be a great atmosphere and we know we need to up our levels.

How do you deal with a defeat like last week?

It’s not one that we can forget but we have to. We spoke to the players this week and we showed them footage of what we didn’t do well throughout the match. But we’ve got to look forward to this game on Saturday.

We’ve got an opportunity to put it right and that’s the beauty of football. When you lose a game you've got an opportunity to bounce back again and this league is so demanding.

And you personally with a defeat like that? Do you brush it off?

I don’t think you brush it off, but you look at certain areas of the team where we didn’t perform. How do we get better this week? How do we improve? It was a long journey home on Saturday night, that's for sure.

What are the threats from Wimbledon?

They play in a certain way, they’ve got a good young manager in Johnnie Jackson who was at Charlton. They like to play football. They play with attacking wing-backs. They’ve got a lot of quality in the final third. Set plays are obviously a threat for them.

But it’s important that we try and concentrate on ourselves this week. We know the threats they do have - we’ve shown the players the footage. It’s about how we can impose ourselves on the game.

We’re at home. We have to make sure that our home form is key this year. I think for any team, being strong at home is where you want to be, and I think it’s important that we start off on the front foot at home against a strong Wimbledon team.