Hartlepool United can put another run together says Simon Walton ahead of York City clash

BACK IN THE MIDDLE: Simon Walton in action during the game at Fleetwood Town. Photograph by FRANK REID
BACK IN THE MIDDLE: Simon Walton in action during the game at Fleetwood Town. Photograph by FRANK REID

SIMON Walton is happy to be back at the heart of the Hartlepool United engine room but admits he has been far from happy with the results since his return.

The central midfielder has so far played in 29 matches for Pools this season but was dropped recently in favour of 17-year-old Bradley Walker, following the 1-1 draw at home to Burton Albion in December.

Walton has been restored to the starting XI and is desperate to see Pools reclaim their old form.

“We need to get that feeling back that we have had and build on the performance and the desire that we showed against Fleetwood,” said the 26-year-old who is looking forward to Saturday’s game against York City and sees no reason why they cannot bring an end to their losing streak.

“They are always big games against York and it is of course a derby game,” said Walton.

“There is still a lot of football to be played and we are more than capable of putting a run together but we certainly need to start doing it soon.”

Walton was dropped down to the bench for the Boxing Day draw at Chesterfield as Cooper favoured Walker in midfield alongside on-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Matty Dolan but when the Boro player’s loan deal expired after the 3-0 defeat to Bury on New Year’s Day, it gave the former Plymouth Argyle captain the chance to reclaim his spot.

He missed a total of three matches – Chesterfield, Morecambe and Bury – but returned to his usual midfield berth for the 3-0 home defeat to Rochdale.

l TURN to Page 50

l RESERVES lose to Man: Page 50

Since then Pools have also been beaten 2-0 away to Fleetwood Town in their last match, but that was in part thanks to Jordan Richards’ reckless challenge which resulted in a straight red card in only the third minute.

The players battled on well after the early dismissal but eventually went down to two quickfire goals in the second half.

Walton, who signed for Pools in the summer of 2012, said he was “naturally” disappointed to lose his place but is now determined to keep hold of his shirt for the foreseeable future, while also hoping Pools’ three-match winless streak comes to an end fast.

Walton, speaking ahead of York City’s visit to The Vic on Saturday, said: “Two losses is obviously not how I would have liked to have come back into the team.

“I was obviously disappointed to be out in the first place, which is a natural reaction.

“Thankfully, I have got my chance again but at the end of the day if you are losing games then you can’t really be happy.

“We need to try and get some points on the board,” added Walton who has scored twice this season for Pools, who are currently 16th in Sky Bet League Two with 31 points.

Saturday’s opponents, the Minstermen, are sitting in 13th place, a single point ahead of Pools but still 10 off the play-off positions.a