Graeme Lee expecting derby occasion as Hartlepool United travel to Harrogate Town
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Pools make their shortest trip of the season on Saturday lunchtime when they head to the Envirovent Stadium to take on Simon Weaver’s side as they look to bounce back from last week’s defeat at Walsall.
Pools got the upper hand when the two teams met earlier in the season at the Suit Direct Stadium thanks to a dramatic turnaround and Lee is hoping his side can make it just as meaningful this time around.
“I think we need to. We have to have that focus,” Lee told The Mail.
“Because of where we are, it’s probably our closest game in the league so you take that and fire the lads up a little bit like it’s a derby game.
“I’ll be speaking to the lads about it and the reaction and the mentality with how we approach this game. It’s our closest game.
“I remember the Darlo games and that’s obviously Hartlepool’s biggest rivals and the big games but where we are at the moment, Harrogate are the next game closest to us and it’s exciting for us to use that.
“That’s what it means to us. It’s our closest game so let's go and make it as feisty as we can and make it exciting.”
Lee’s side will be backed by a sellout following in North Yorkshire as the Pools fans continue to travel in their numbers this season.
Sulphurites boss Weaver heaped praise on the Pools supporters for their influence in the reverse fixture back in October and has admitted he is expecting another partisan crowd.
“We're looking forward to the game and we know Hartlepool will bring with them a partisan crowd. They were amazing at their place,” said Weaver.
And Lee believes the away fans will be expecting his side to be on their game at the Envirovent Stadium after last week’s defeat.
“The fans want to see us going at it,” Lee told The Mail.
“They clapped us off at Walsall, probably for the run of games we’ve had over these last couple of months.
“They still appreciate the efforts the lads are putting in but we’ll keep fighting and doing that.”