Craig Harrison’s sets Hartlepool United points target

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison
Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison

November could be season-defining for Hartlepool United, according to boss Craig Harrison.

The Pools manager admits his side are still playing catch-up in the National League, after their disastrous opening month introduction to the fifth tier.

But he does concede they are edging closer and closer to where they’d hoped to be, having been one of the form sides of the division in recent months.

Ahead of the trip to Boreham Wood tomorrow, Harrison has set his side a points target from their next four games.

And if they hit it, it could catapult Pools right into the automatic promotion mix.

“Over the next two weeks we have two at home, two away. We look at a points total to get us up there – anything above nine would be fantastic and that would put us in the top two or three,” he said.

“We are doing well in the league and it’s a close division.

“We are close to the top now. The lads have worked so hard to get there.

“As things stand we are just a few points off the top four and the top, that’s taken some hard work after the start we made.

“A good two weeks can get us in and around where we want to be.”

While Pools have found securing three points on home turf hard work this season, on their travels they’ve produced the goods.

“Away form has been positive for us,” said Harrison.

“We look back at games and try and put trends together, but do teams come to us and sit back? Which is up to us to break them down. We are almost playing counter attacking then when teams sit back and get men behind the ball.

“Looking at games, they come quickly, we can’t get clogged up in what’s happened. We look to progress and improve and get better, not looking at what we have done wrongly.”

On the importance of this month’s fixtures, with home games against Aldershot and Halifax Town followed by a final week trip to Ebbsfleet, Harrison continued: “The division is tight, four or five teams bunched together. If we can get a good points tally this month, November will be a big month, then we should be top four by then.

“Boreham Wood had a good FA Cup win last week, but we go there to play our game. I’m good friends with Andy Todd, Blackpool assistant boss, and spoke to him and watched games.

“Their record is similar to ours and we make sure we turn up and put our game plan in place and execute it well.”

Hartlepool striker Jake Cassidy is rated as touch and go for tomorrow’s clash, after returning to training after a foot injury.

Defender Michael Ledger will sit the game out after undergoing an operation on a broken nose on Monday. He should be fit for the visit of Aldershot.

Liam Donnelly is away on international duty.