Do Hartlepool's players fear playing at the Super 6 Stadium? Paddy McLaughlin discusses the issue of Pools' home form

If Pools win tonight they face a second round trip to Sutton or Slough.
If Pools win tonight they face a second round trip to Sutton or Slough.

Paddy McLaughlin has dismissed the idea that Hartlepool United's players have a fear of playing on home turf.

After the Barnet loss on Sunday, manager Matthew Bates talked about a fear factor being present when it comes to the players and the Super 6 Stadium.

Paddy McLaughlin in action in the 0-0 draw at Priestfield.

Paddy McLaughlin in action in the 0-0 draw at Priestfield.

But ahead of Pools' second home game in four days, McLaughlin does not think it's an issue.

"It is not something that has entered my head," said McLaughlin, who is again likely to start in tonight's FA Cup first round replay against League One Gillingham.

"Maybe it is an issue, maybe it isn't. It is not something I can really comment on.

"We want to improve at home - we need to if we are to get out of this league.

Matthew Bates.

Matthew Bates.

"If anyone knew the reason for it, they would have changed things by now.

"All we can do to turn things around is keep showing up, keep doing all the right things. We have to keep believing we can turn this around.

"The beauty of this that we have another game - we have to quickly draw a line under what has gone on.

We have to look to Gillingham and try to get a result."

Pools have now gone five games without a win, their last victory came against seventh tier Kidsgrove Athletic on October 20.

Their last National League win came back on October 6 - a 2-0 win over Boreham Wood at the Vic.

Reflecting back on recent results, McLaughlin said: "If I knew why we were not getting the results I would have put it right four games ago. But that's professional sport. This happens.

"The weekend was hugely disappointing. It was frustrating to play the way we did in the first 20 to 25 minutes then a whirlwind two minutes, a crazy spell meant we chased the game.

"Things got disjointed and ragged after that. We just couldn't find a way back into the game.

"We should really have capitalised on the start we made."

The Northern Irishman continued: "There was anger in the dressing room - all of the emotions you imagine those in the stands are feeling.

"The lads feel it as much as the fans, if not more.

"Only we can change what is going on. To do that we have to stick together.

"There is a big game for the club coming up and we have to put things right."

On the selection front this evening Bates is likely to recall both Andrew Davies and Carl Magnay, with both returning from suspensions.

Luke Williams remains the only long-term absentee, with the player set to return to action in December or January after two knee operations.