Craig Harrison: Cut out mistakes and Hartlepool United have every chance of promotion

Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison.
Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison.

Keep mistakes to the minimum and Hartlepool United have a great shot at promotion.

That was the message from Craig Harrison, who admitted he was “stating the obvious” with that assessment.

Pools go into this afternoon’s marathon trek to Torquay United in 14th place in the table, but just three points outside the National League’s top seven.

Harrison’s team suffered a nightmare start in the club’s debut season in the fifth tier.

Pools gathered just two points from the first six games to find themselves in the bottom four.

However, since winning at Guiseley, everything has been very much hunky-dory, bar a 2-1 home slip-up to Eastleigh.

Pools have taken 22 points from a possible 33 and they must look to keep that ratio going or, better still, improve it.

It would appear, at this moment, that there will be no runaway teams like last season, when both Lincoln City and Tranmere Rovers finished past the 90-point mark.

“Right across the world, you’d say the team who makes the least mistakes will be the best team in that league.

“It’s stating the obvious really, but it’s really prevalent in what I’ve seen in the last six, seven eight weeks.

“In the early part of the season and we made mistakes and didn’t pick up many points, but of late we’ve not made many mistakes and picked up more points.

“In my experience in the games I’ve seen in this league there are two types of goals.

“There are mistakes and there are set-plays.”

Pools were undone by a set-piece in mid-week, sub centre-half Jay McEveley heading in Liam Ridehalgh’s corner to earn Tranmere a point.

But, by and large, Pools have been solid at corners and free-kicks.

Harrison does not want to cite luck as an element to the team’s fortunes.

A mounting injury list is not aiding the Pools boss, but her does not want to moan about that, or a ill-bounce of the ball or refereeing decision.

“I think the luck evens itself out,” he said.

“We didn’t have much luck at the start of the season mixed with bad play too, we can’t paper over that.

“Human error brings an element of luck, but I do believe it evens itself out over a season.

“Managers can sit and think ‘what if this’, ‘what if that’ moments.

“But it works itself out over a season and it’s not something I would cite as a reason for winning or losing.”