Hartlepool United captain Ryan Donaldson on adapting playing styles following draw with AFC Fylde

From a dominant performance at Maidenhead to a conservative display against AFC Fylde on – skipper Ryan Donaldson is pleased to see Hartlepool United showing both sides of their game.

By Dominic Scurr
Thursday, 15 August, 2019, 06:00
Ryan Donaldson in action for Hartlepool United last season (photo: Mark Fletcher).

Pools’ game plan to sit back and frustrate Fylde looked to have worked at Victoria Park on Tuesday night as they led 2-0 only to be robbed out of three points following two late goals from the visitors.

While the end result was disappointing, Donaldson was pleased with how Hartlepool have adapted to facing different opposition in the past two matches.

“Every team is different in this league so it’s silly to say you’re just going to play one way,” he said.

“We want to be nastier, the first two games we were disappointing in that regard because the teams didn’t have to do much to beat us.

“So if we have to let teams have the ball and sit back then we’re alright with that, it’s about minimising risk and putting ourselves in a position to win a game which we’ve done in the last two.

“Saturday was really good, tonight was alright overall but the last 10 minutes make it disappointing.”

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Donaldson has been thrust into the last two starting line-ups for Pools despite missing the whole of pre-season due to a calf injury.

But the club captain has shown little sign of fatigue given the circumstances as he targets a full 90-minutes on the pitch.

“I feel good, I’ve done a lot of work just not with the squad in terms of game time,” he added.

“That’s just excuses, if you’re in the team you’ve got to perform and I’m quite pleased with how we’ve played the last two games.

“There’s a lot of talk about pre-season these days and sports science taking over but I don’t like excuses, I’ve done a lot of work and it’s football and I know how to play football so it hasn’t been difficult.

“It’s just been a matter of how far I can get – 85 on Saturday, 70 Tuesday, I’m quite pleased but hoping to get a 90 soon.”