FC Halifax Town v Hartlepool United: Pools must rediscover 'successful' traits as National League campaign rolls on

John Askey believes it is a positive his side have the opportunity to quickly put right the wrongs that felled Hartlepool United at Aldershot when they face Halifax this evening.
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It was a long journey home from Hampshire for Hartlepool at the weekend after they threw away a lead in remarkable fashion to slip to an eighth National League defeat of the season.

But Pools don’t have long to rest on their laurels as they’re on the road again this evening with a trip to West Yorkshire.

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Hartlepool take on a Halifax side who have won their last three league games to move into the play-off places in the National League table but the Shaymen have won just twice on home soil this season.

Hartlepool United face Halifax Town in the National League.Hartlepool United face Halifax Town in the National League.
Hartlepool United face Halifax Town in the National League.

"It’s a positive [for us to have a game so quickly] I think because you need to get back and not have much time to think about it,” said Askey.

"If we can get a result then it changes things again. As a player you should now be looking to go again. You can’t put right what’s happened, but you can go out and give your all on Tuesday.

“It’s the only thing you can do but things have got to change. We say it every week but you can’t keep conceding goals like we do.

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"For me it’s decision making and it doesn’t matter how much we do on the training ground if people do what they’re doing then it’s very difficult to rectify.”

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Askey could be without Sunderland loanee Zak Johnson after the defender was forced off with a groin issue at the weekend but has been boosted by the arrival of Joe Mattock on loan from Harrogate Town.

The experienced defender joins Pools on a short-term loan deal after struggling for regular game time in the opening months of the season in League Two at Harrogate.

Striker Emmanuel Dieseruvwe is set to face his former club on the back of his stunning overhead kick against Aldershot, and first team coach Antony Sweeney has stressed the message will be simple for Hartlepool’s players this evening: Take responsibility.

"Every player is going to be massive for us,” said Sweeney.

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"If there’s a message we want to try and get across to the lads it will be ‘don’t rely on somebody else to put in a performance, take responsibility yourself.’

"If you perform well, and generally if you get eight or nine of your starting XI that do perform well, you more often than not put yourself in with a chance of winning games.

"We as a staff have to take responsibility as well in terms of how we set it up and the messages we give and, hopefully, when you put it all into the mix we should be in line for a good result.

"We need to win football games and this is the next one in a long list of games. We’ve got to do the things that, in the past, has made us successful.

"At times we’ve veered away from that but we know when we’re at our best there’s certain things we do as a team and as individuals and we’ll need to do that to get a result.”