Former Aston Villa and Wolves defender Rob Edwards praises Hartlepool United ahead of Forest Green Rovers match
In terms of the League Two table, Hartlepool United will face their toughest test yet on Saturday when they host Forest Green Rovers at the Suit Direct Stadium.
Rob Edwards’ side are two points clear at the top of the table having played a game less than their nearest rivals in the top six and are yet to taste defeat on their travels this season.
And they will arrive at the Suit Direct Stadium where Pools finally surrendered their remarkable home form last time out thanks to Dom Telford’s stoppage time winner for Newport County last week.
But caretaker manager Antony Sweeney was able to galvanise his side for a daunting FA Cup first round replay at League One side Wycombe Wanderers in midweek as Mark Cullen’s goal knocked out the Chairboys to book a second round tie with another League One side, Lincoln City, in a fortnight’s time.
And Forest Green boss Edwards believes Pools’ victory over Wycombe demonstrates just how difficult the task will be for his side if they want to maintain their unbeaten away record and stay at the top of the League Two table.
“They did fantastically well to come through that game after a long journey. They’ll be on a high and their home form is very good as well,” Edwards told Gloucestershire Live.
“We know we’ll be in for a difficult afternoon on Saturday, but we’ve prepared very well for it. We’re up against a team who are confident, who play a similar shape - another team who play with three-at-the-back - and they have good players.
“They’ve got goalscorers, good wide players and people who can handle the ball at the back and in midfield. They’re a good team.
“From the games that we’ve seen, they’re certainly a positive team who look to win games. I know both teams on Saturday will look to take all three points.”
And the former Aston Villa and Wolves defender didn’t stop there when praising Pools with the 38-year-old highlighting the job interim manager Sweeney has done in difficult circumstances following the departure of Dave Challinor to Stockport County earlier this month.
Pools’ search for a new manager continues to go on, but Edwards believes in the short-term Sweeney is proving his worth at the Suit Direct Stadium.
“He’s done very well. The result at Wycombe in midweek was exceptional. To go and do that to a team who are doing very well in the league above shows that the players are with him and working really hard for him.
“I’ve watched the Newport game as well and they were really unlucky to lose it with the last kick of the match. He’ll be pleased with those performances. The lads are clearly working hard for him.
“They’ve got a good team and he’s been able to maintain a lot of the good work which was happening before, which is the sensible thing to do and he can make his own little tweaks when he sees fit. In the short period of time he’s been there, he’s done well.”