all-out attack only way to go – thomas

Nathan Thomas
Nathan Thomas

Hartlepool United will swap “shape, shape, shape” for attack, attack, attack.

That was the message form attacking ace Nathan Thomas on a day Pools go to Cheltenham Town with the task of trying to keep the club in the Football League.

Pools need a victory at Whaddon Road this afternoon to give themselves any hope of taking their fight for survival into the last game of the season, at home to Doncaster.

A defeat to the Robins could put Pools down should Newport, who are two points better off, win at Carlisle United.

Thomas says his flair and that off his team-mates have been eroded by the previous boss, Dave Jones, who was sacked on Monday and replaced with an interim panel of Matthew Bates, Billy Paynter, Stuart Parnaby and Ian Gallagher.

The former Sunderland product admitted his form and confidence had “gone”, emphasised he says by his display last weekend against Barnet.

“I think I hit the corner flag three times – six months ago they fly in,” he said. “It’s confidence.

“Everyone has got that back.

“Before it was ‘shape, shape, shape’ and us getting told ‘you can’t do that’.

“Now it’s ‘boys go and get a result’, no matter what it takes.

“If Cheltenham score three, then we will score four!

“That’s the attitude we had early on this season, we’d gamble on scoring more goals than the opposition.

“I think we had 30 goals by Christmas, the second half of the season they have dried up.”

A change in fortune in front of goal could come about through a change in tactics, however, says Thomas.

He added: “The ball players will be further up the pitch and in areas where they will be able to affect the game, not sitting in front of our back four.

“Players like me, Lewy, Feath, Woodsy, will have much more freedom on the ball.

“We’ll have freedom to play and express themselves, there’s no strict guidelines.

“It’s the best way to be, we haven’t got anything to lose now.

“We have to go out and score more goals than Cheltenham.”