LOOKING to make amends following the dismal 3-0 defeat at Luton Town, Scott Harrison admits Hartlepool United’s players are being spurred on by the thought of celebrating safety.
That feat could be achieved tomorrow if, and it is a big if, Pools beat Exeter City and other results go their way too.
The thought of celebrating at the end of the match is really spurring us onScott Harrison
But with relegation rivals Tranmere Rovers away at Plymouth Argyle and Cheltenham Town hosting title-chasing Shrewsbury Town, safety with a game to go is a realistic option.
And Harrison says the Pools camp owe it to the long-suffering supporters to go out with a bang in their final game at Victoria Park this season.
The 21-year-old former Sunderland defender told
“The thought of those celebrations at the end of the match, if we secure safety, are really spurring us on.
“It would be such a massive relief if we stay up because we don’t want to go in to the final game needing something.
“Win and stay up then Carlisle United away wouldn’t matter and we could enjoy a game for once this season!
“Everybody knows how big Saturday is for everyone connected to the club and if that can’t encourage players to go out and work their socks off, then nothing will.
“And we also feel like we owe the fans a big performance.
“They have been unbelievable, both home and away.
“They deserve at least one more big performance from us – and a win.”
Pools go into the Sky Bet League Two fixture on the back of a dire defeat at Luton but despite the loss, Ronnie Moore’s side remained out of the drop zone on 41 points.
That was because second-bottom Cheltenham (40 points) and basement side Tranmere (39 points) were also beaten.
Harrison, who was part of the side that beat Exeter away in October, said those other results came as a major relief upon entering the dressing rooms at Luton.
“Luton was a horrible game but this past week of training has been good and better than it has been lately,” revealed Stockton-born Harrison.
“Everybody is really up for tomorrow now and it helped us again that the other two teams lost.
“That is obviously a good thing for us but it just annoys you even more that we haven’t capitalised on them losing again, so I guess it is mixed feelings.”
Pools were missing key defender David Mirfin for the trip to Kenilworth Road, the on-loan Scunthorpe United defender out with a badly bruised toe.
It is set to keep him out of the Exeter match and Harrison says if that is the case, then the defence is better prepared this week.
Harrison and Dan Jones were torn apart by John Still’s Luton, with Pools lucky to come away with a 3-0 defeat.
The no-nonsense centre-back added: “Luton came at us from the first whistle to the last, second half we had a bit of possession, but they were by far the better team.
“It was our own fault and we could have no complaints.
“You have to take some positives from it though and we see it as a learning curve even though it was a horrible game to be involved in.
“We have been doing a lot of work on shape and positioning and if Mirf isn’t fit then we will be ready for it.
“Hopefully he is fit though.”
Goals from Michael Woods and former loan signing Charlie Wyke sealed a 2-1 victory over Exeter earlier in the season, and Harrison sees no reason why it cannot be repeated.
He added: “We can take some positivity from the fact we’ve played them once already this season and beaten them.
“There is no reason why we cannot beat them again – if everybody turns up and works hard.
“We have beaten better sides than them this season.”