Craig Harrison happy with Hartlepool United’s good test in defeat at St Johnstone

Craig Harrison
Craig Harrison

Craig Harrison heaped praise on Hartlepool United after a battling defeat at St Johnstone.

Pools lost out to Steven MacLean’s close-range 12th-minute finish at McDiarmid Park.

“I want us to be tested, I want us to be stretched, I want it be uncomfortable.”

Craig Harrison

Harrison’s side went close to a second-half equaliser from Nicky Deverdics, whose free-kick strike was kept out by a great save from Alan Manuss.

The manager though was pleased with the afternoon’s journey to Perth.

“It was a good match for us,” he said. “I want us to be tested, I want us to be stretched, I want it be uncomfortable.

“We were playing a team who finished fourth in the Scottish Premier League two seasons in a row and beat Sunderland last week 3-0.

“All the things I wanted I got - physically, tactically, technically. They were all very good tests.

“This wasn’t like a pre-season friendly, it was a proper game, with tackles and both teams physically competing against each other.

“I’m really happy with the way we played.

“I know St Johnstone got knocked out of the Europa League but their lads have been in training twice as long as ours.

“For the first 10 to 15 minutes we weren’t great but we’ve played well, especially when we brought a lot of the young lads on for the second half, lads who have not played a lot of first-team football.

“There are a lot more positives than negatives.

“We had a couple of chances and their keeper has made a save from Nicky Deverdics when he nearly scored like he did against Harrogate.”