Hartlepool United captain Ryan Donaldson on improving, adapting and 'not playing like Manchester City'

Captain Ryan Donaldson has been encouraged by the slow but steady improvement shown by Hartlepool United in their opening games of the National League season.

Friday, 16th August 2019, 12:05 pm
Ryan Donaldson

After losing their opening two matches, Hartlepool finally got their season up and running with a win at Maidenhead before drawing with promotion hopefuls AFC Fylde on Tuesday evening.

The 2-2 draw against Fylde at Victoria Park was one which Pools ought to have claimed all three points from as they led 2-0 late on thanks to a Gime Toure brace.

But in the final 10-minutes, The Coasters came fighting back to nick a point and deny the hosts what would have been a deserved win.

Craig Hignett’s side will be looking to bounce back from that disappointment and make it three games unbeaten when they welcome Bromley on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

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And Donaldson believes the team are capable of stepping things up once again.

“I really do feel we’re getting better each game,” he said.

“We were really good Tuesday in a different kind of way, on Saturday we were good in a different kind of way.

“I know it may not have looked pretty but this league is so hard if you start trying to play like Man City, actually I shouldn’t say Man City because nobody plays like them, but if you try like that you’re not going to do it so I think we’ve adapted a bit.”

The United captain feels that ability to adapt, along with minimising unnecessary risks will be crucial to the team’s success.

“If you take too many risks, you’re going to get punished and I think in the past two games we’ve done our best to minimise that and given ourselves the best chance to win,” Donaldson added.

“We went behind 2-0 in our first two games which is hard to come back from and we’ve got to find a way that if we’re not scoring first then it’s 0-0 and we’ve got to keep working on that.

“Clean sheets are important, I wouldn’t say we should have had one Tuesday but it’s a point against a really good team so we move on and look ahead to Saturday.”