Hartlepool United goalkeeper Ben Killip on the 'relentless' National League and becoming more solid at the back following consecutive clean sheets

Ben Killip is hoping to take the momentum of the last two games into today’s match back in the National League against Barnet.

Saturday, 26th October 2019, 7:00 am
Hartlepool United's Ryan Donaldson (L), Nicky Featherstone (c) and Ben Killip during the FA Cup match between Hartlepool United and Brackley Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 19th October 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

The Pools goalkeeper will be looking to claim a third consecutive clean sheet and his first at Victoria Park in the National League.

For the last two and a half games, United have switched formation from three centre-backs to a more traditional flat back four. The change has seen no goals conceded so far, something Killip hopes will continue against Barnet this afternoon.

“When we had three centre-backs we did quite well to start with but were always susceptible of making it a back five at times,” he said.

“With the four it’s clear and we’re looking more solid at the moment. It’s a good change because it can be more attacking if we play it right as well.”

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Today’s match will be Hartlepool’s 19th of the season so far as they go into the game with a record of seven wins, five draws and six defeats.

“It’s relentless,” Killip said discussing the opening 12 weeks of the campaign.

“I was speaking to someone saying we’ve played 17 league games already and they were taken aback by how many it was.”

Caretaker manager Antony Sweeney has a 100% winning record since taking charge and Killip has been impressed with how a difficult situation has been handled by the club’s coaching staff.

“[The manager situation] has been difficult because no one expected it and it came out of the blue,” continued the 23-year-old.

“As Ryan [Donaldson] has said previously and I’ll reiterate that Sweens has came in and been class with Gucks [Ian McGuckin] and Ross [Turnbull].

“They know how difficult the situation is and it’s difficult for them as well because they had a great working relationship with [Craig Hignett and Ged McNamee]. It was a shock but I think it’s pulled the group together and since then we’ve scored four and conceded none with two wins so it’s been a good response from everyone.

“Hopefully we can use the momentum of the last two games to keep us pushing forward and take us up the table.”