Consistency will be key to Hartlepool United success – Craig Harrison

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison.
Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison.

Craig Harrison says consistency will make Hartlepool United a success in the “crazy” National League.

The boss takes 15th-placed Pools to Solihull Moors today knowing a win would take his side ever near to the top seven.

While 15th appears a low position, such is the congestion in the fifth tier of English football, Pools are just three points shy of the play-offs and only seven behind leaders Macclesfield.

“It will be interesting to see how many different teams have topped the division,” said Harrison, who this week called the league “crazy” for its high uncertainty.

“I’d imagine it would be higher than almost any other league - I think there has been a different leader every other week.

“We’ve moved into 15th but we’re only seven points off the top and three off the play-offs so it shows just how tight the league is.

“From our perspective, and I know this is very clichéd, but we’ll take each game as it comes.

“Only one defeat in eight is a good run but we’d like to string more together.”

Today’s match at Damson Park marks the conclusion of the opening third of the National League programme.

There have been five separate leaders in the division, Aldershot leading the way on five occasions, followed by Sutton United (four), Dover (two), Dagenham (two) and Macclesfield, who started today as top dogs.

Consistency, clearly, is there with Pools, with their last eight matches producing 17 points.

If Pools enjoy more sequences of W, W, W D, W, L, D, W, then they are not going to be far away when the honours are dished out.

And they will achieve in the National League by grinding out results as often as they do in playing free-flowing football.

That was certainly the case in point on Tuesday night when a goal in the seventh-minute of added time, from Michael Woods, stole victory against lowly Barrow.

“I watched it back the morning after the game and we could have played better,” admitted Harrison.

“It’s the sign of a good set of players and professionals that we can win when we don’t particularly play well.

“I was really pleased with how we defended - Barrow were a big, physical side who had a good long hard flat throw.

“It was hard, but overall it was three points.

“You don’t get any more points for winning 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0, Barcelona-style.

“That 1-0 win keeps our momentum going and we’ll make sure we build on that.

“Ideally I want us to play like we did against Maidstone every week but the facts are that won’t happen, but that’s what we re striving for and working very hard at.

“The main thing is that we got the result and move forward.”