Hartlepool United must cut out individual mistakes - but Craig Harrison thinks Scott Loach has cash in the bank on the error front

MFC 3-0 HUFC 1st Rnd FA Cup. 04-11-2017. Picture by FRANK REID
MFC 3-0 HUFC 1st Rnd FA Cup. 04-11-2017. Picture by FRANK REID

Craig Harrison insists Hartlepool United must cut out the individual errors in order to get their season back on track.

But the manager is not about to single out last weekend’s worst culprit Scott Loach.

Harrison believes if any of his players have got put money in the bank on the error front, it’s the former Watford keeper.

Ahead of the trip to Workington in the FA Trophy tomorrow, in which Loach is set to continue between the sticks for Pools, Harrison said: “Last weekend we learn from it – we have to stop making mistakes, that’s the big thing.

“Scott Loach put his hands up afterwards – he’s been our best player this season – and he’s made an early mistake which has cost us [at Dover Athletic].

“He was honest enough to admit his mistake and we were two down soon after without a platform to build on.

“The first goal kills us straight away but if there’s one person you wouldn’t expect to give one away is Scott. In fairness, he’s been great so far this season.

“We have to stop mistakes, all four goals had an element of mistake in them. We have worked hard this week, Monday morning, Tuesday morning and afternoon, a double session Thursday. Repetition, repetition, repetition and working with units to see if we can eradicate them. We have had a long week already.

“We want another game to get this one out of the way. We have to go and prove a point and show how disappointed we were.”

While Pools have been stuttering in the National League this season, their attentions turn, for one weekend at least, to the trophy.

And while the league is the bread and butter for Harrison & Co, this game offers an opportunity to make it to Wembley in May.

It’s a chance the manager is not about to take lightly, despite pressures elsewhere.

“I want to win every game – a friendly, five-a-side, FA Cup, FA Trophy,” he said.

“We are expected to win this, we have all been in this situation and we have to accept it.

“In this game our application and performance is under the microscope. We have the opportunity to show how disappointed we were after last week - it’s a chance to put it right.

“I’ve not watched them myself, but I’ve had someone see them twice so we know about them and we prepare professionally. It’s about us and what we do after last week.

“Hopefully we learn from mistakes and learn from training this week and react on Saturday.

“For them this is a big game, I can only control our side and what we are about. It’s about getting it all right and winning the game.

“We want a reaction in the next game, no matter what competition is it as you can’t switch on and off as to when you will perform as a footballer.

“There’s plenty of work done in training and we want to take it into Saturday.”

After a shocking start to the campaign Pools and Harrison have been playing catch up on the leading pack since day one.

Despite a solid run of results right through the Autumn, Harrison’s men have never quite got themselves into the play-off mix. They’re the team that has always been one or two wins off gatecrashing the party.

This is not something that sits easy with Pools’ ambitious manager.

“Halfway through the season we are frustrated,” said Harrison.

“That’s the key word for me - frustrated.

“We should be higher in the table than we are with a more points.

“But on the flip side we aren’t a million miles away, we have been on the cusp of taking a step into the play-offs and just fell short at that moment for whatever reason.

“We need more consistency now and get into the top seven. We have a lot of games coming up in a short period of time, it’s all about preparation and it’s important why this week and next we have crammed a lot into training because the following two weeks after about game, preparation and recovery.”

Despite plenty of negative discourse around Pools at the moment, positivity is the order of the day for Harrison.

“Players are either driven by money, adulation or winning trophies,” said the manager.

“I do not care what drives players, as long as the end result is the same.

“I think it is nice coming into your place of work to be positive.”