Trevor Carson loves Victoria Park and he is desperate to help Hartlepool United end their run without a win on home turf.
The sequence stands at five matches ahead of the visit of Crawley Town tomorrow.
It has been a busy week for Carson. He played a big part in getting Pools to their first win in four games last week at Dagenham & Redbridge where he enjoyed an outstanding debut – and a clean sheet – in the 1-0 result in the EastEnd.
But attention then switched from Victoria Road to Victoria Park, where Carson’s long throw started the move which led to Rhys Oates putting Pools 1-0 up against Barnet.
As Oates and his team-mates celebrated, Carson punched the air in triumph as he celebrated alone in his area.
There was better to come for the 27-year-old who made brilliant early-second-half saves to deny John Akinde and Michael Gash as Barnet threatened an equaliser.
I love playing at home in front of our own fans.TREVOR CARSON
Alas, when it came, Carson had ‘a hand in it’, running out to try to get to a hopeful Bees ball forward, and failing to get there as Akinde’s long leg connected to get a draw for his team.
But the Northern Ireland international’s display was a good one and was the man of the match, as voted by the match sponsors.
Now, it’s another home match and a chance for a first win at the Vic since the 1-0 success against Newport County.
Pools boast more points on the road than at Clarence Road, it’s 9-8 to the away column, a situation Carson is keen to address.
“It’s massively important, I didn’t know that stat,” he said.
“Personally, I love playing at home in front of our own fans.
“It’s up to us to turn Victoria Park into a fortress.
“We’ve been as guilty as anyone because we have not given the fans much to cheer about.
“I’d played at Victoria Park before and it’s an intimidating place for teams to come to.
“We haven’t witnessed that yet but I think that’s the players fault.
“We’ve not given them much to cheer about, it’s up to us to get the fans going, get them on our side.
“I’ve been on the other side of it and I know how intimidating it can be, how the fans suck the ball into the back of the net.
“Seriously it can be an intimidating place and we need to get that on our side.”
Carson’s entrance this season has been delayed by a toe injury on the eve of the programme.
But theex-Sunderland stopper is hoping to extend his season into June.
Carson has club and country on his mind this season – he dreams of represented his beloved Northern Ireland in the European Championship finals in France.
His injury ruined his hopes of being in the squad for the recent qualifiers, but the incentive is there for the Downpatrick-born goalie.
“It would be amazing to be a part of it,” said Carson of the Euros. “I had been a part of it, I possibly would have been in the squad but for my injury.
“The boy who took my place in the squad spoke in the press that he’d had a little bit of luck with me getting injured.
“I might have to now wait for a bit of luck and someone else’s misfortune.
“I need to make sure I’m performing
“It’s a massive incentive but if I’m not there as a player I’ll be there as a fan.
“It’s not in the back of my mind it’s at the front.
“But, first and foremost, I want to do well for Hartlepool, and get the team up the league.”
Carson, who has replaced Adam Bartlett between the sticks at Pools, says he is looking up rather than down at the Vic.
“We are six points off the play-offs and I think we are more than good enough to put a run together,” he said.
“Even though the resultsa haven’t been great, the team spirit has not slackened off one bit.
“That’s been the big positive that the lads have never been down at training.
“We’ve stayed strong and we’ve got character.”