Graeme Lee seeking Hartlepool United response against table topping Forest Green Rovers after Salford City defeat

Graeme Lee accepts it has been a tough run for his Hartlepool United side but that should not prevent them from doing the basics in games.

By Joe Ramage
Friday, 8th April 2022, 4:45 pm

Pools face the daunting task of coming up against the League Two leaders Forest Green Rovers this weekend after a challenging run of fixtures in recent weeks against teams all competing for promotion.

Last time out Lee’s side were soundly beaten by Salford City who eased to a 2-0 success at the Suit Direct Stadium and things couldn’t be more difficult on Saturday than with a trip to the New Lawn Stadium.

Pools are also set to host the league’s form team next week when Port Vale visit the Suit Direct Stadium but Lee insists these are the games his players should relish as they strive to compete themselves in League Two.

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Graeme Lee hoping for a reaction from his players as they face Forest Green Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID

“It’s a tough run but it doesn’t mean you can’t fight and battle and do the basics of the game,” said Lee.

“We just sat off far too much [against Salford].

“The reaction I want to see is us being aggressive and on the front foot. We did the opposite and we sat off and that just invites pressure on.

“We can’t afford to do that on Saturday because we’re going up against Forest Green who are top of the league and are the best team in the league.

Graeme Lee takes his Hartlepool United side to face Forest Green Rovers this weekend. (Credit: James Holyoak | MI News)

“They’ve got an exciting squad of players. And you want to get to that, with those types of players,” Lee added.

“We’ve seen we can do that to get good points on the board, we’ve just got to be consistent with it.

“The lads know they’re going up against the best in the league and they have to be on it. It’s a challenge for them and it’s one that I’m looking forward to.

“This is like when we went up against League One teams and we had to go and compete against them.”

Once again Pools can mathematically secure their League Two status this afternoon depending on results elsewhere but Lee insists regardless of what happens that is not an invitation for his players to switch off between now and the end of the campaign.

“You look where we are and what we’ve done and what we've come through but it doesn’t mean we stop. We have to keep going and we have to keep fighting,” said Lee.

“I said it before, we wanted to enjoy the end of the season but the enjoyment only comes if you’re doing the right things and working hard.

“I don’t think any of the players are thinking ‘we’re there, we’re over the line,’ they all know.

“Sometimes your mindset can just slightly be away from where it needs to be and if you get four or five in that mindset and you’re not quite on the front foot, your levels drop and that was highlighted on Saturday.

“It’s our job now to get back onto them and let them know we're fighting until the end of the season no matter what.”