Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison asks fans: Please stick with it

The players and fans of Hartlepool United celebrate Jonathan Franks' winner at Guiseley.  Picture by FRANK REID
The players and fans of Hartlepool United celebrate Jonathan Franks' winner at Guiseley. Picture by FRANK REID

Craig Harrison has asked Hartlepool United’s fans to keep the faith as he looks to make Pools winners.

Pools ended a wretched start to the season by scrapping their way to a 1-0 victory at Guiseley.

It was their first success in seven attempts and they will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since February/March.

And the three points were desperately needed, not only to move the side closer to exiting the drop zone but to raise the morale of everyone with blue and white blood.

Last Saturday’s home shocker against Fylde, who clinched a 2-0 win at Victoria Park, pushed some mild-mannered supporters over the edge.

But some hope was restored on Monday when a Jonathan Franks goal and some stout defending got Pools and Harrison off the mark in front of an amazing away support.

The boss said that while no-one was hurting more than him after last week’s calamitous display he hopes the Vic faithful keep going in what is a difficult period as they find their feet in an ultra-competitive fifth tier.

We will know more about that this Saturday.

The club’s decision to slash ticket prices to only a fiver for the match with Maidstone was a master-stroke by Pools, who have shown they recognise the anguish their customers have been through.

“I do understand the frustration of the fans but they have to stick with us,” said Harrison.

“They stuck with us on Monday [at Guiseley] and I’m asking them to stick with us.

“There might be four, five weeks of grinding out results, until we can get our momentum going.

“We need to get up the league and then we can fine-tune things.

“The fans have been frustrated, but no-one has been more frustrated than me.”

Harrison, a defender by trade, not surprisingly enjoyed the blood and snot nature of Monday’s win, as did the 800 Poolies crammed into Nethermoor.

Every header, tackle, block, keeper catch was cheered enthusiastically and the players must apply the same body-on-the-line on home soil, starting with Saturday’s visit of Maidstone United to the Vic.

A glorious football masterclass it was not, a terrific backs-to-the-wall away win it certainly was.

“I love football,” said Harrison. “I love watching Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, all that, but there’s nothing better than a 1-0 away victory where you have to roll up your sleeves.

“Sometimes a win like that gives you more pleasure.

“I think that performance showed the unity of this group, from the first minute the players gave everything they had - the headers, the tackles, blocks, winning the second balls.

“We battled so hard that last 20 but the first 15 minutes of the second half with a bit more composure we could have been out of sight.

“We can’t go backwards now, the least we can do is perform like that again.

“We can get better, we will get better.

“But if you are going to work yourselves into the ground like the lads did on Monday it’s amazing how far it can take you and I’ve told the players that.”