Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney gives his thoughts following convincing 2-0 win over Barnet to continue perfect start

Antony Sweeney was delighted with how the Hartlepool United players executed the game plan in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Barnet at Victoria Park.

Saturday, 26th October 2019, 6:42 pm
Updated Sunday, 27th October 2019, 11:43 am
Hartlepool United caretaker manager, Antony Sweeney (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

A first half brace from Nicke Kabamba ensured Sweeney’s perfect start in interim charge continued as it’s now three wins from three without conceding for the 36-year-old.

Barnet were reduced to 10-men in the second half after Jack Taylor was shown a second yellow card for a rough challenge on Peter Kioso.

But Pools were able to see the game out comfortably and could have extended their advantage further had it not been for some fine saves from their former goalkeeper Scott Loach.

“I’ve just said to the players that I’m really proud of the performance,” Sweeney said.

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“The last couple of games I’ve been a little bit critical – I thought they applied and executed the game plan really well today.

“We knew Barnet would be expansive and look to put us on the back foot at times but I thought on the turnover of possession on transitions, we thought we could be a real threat and we tried to set up the team to exploit that.

“I think we got the goals at the right time that validated the tactics and the players executed the game plan spot on after the first couple of minutes after they started brightly.

“Although it didn’t feel it at the time, looking back it became quite comfortable.”

After criticising the two performances leading up to the match, Sweeney was pleased to get a performance as well as a result this time out.

“It was a lot more front foot football, we were a threat going forward and looked a lot more solid than we have done in the previous two,” he added.

“We’re striving for perfection which is probably an unrealistic expectation for a non-league football club.

“We were much more effective and even when they went down to 10-men the balance between keeping possession and running them ragged while also knowing when to try and go for the third goal was something the players did really well.”