Hartlepool Utd boss wants to start new unbeaten run starting with Tranmere Rovers

Mick Wadsworth
Mick Wadsworth

MICK Wadsworth has called on Hartlepool United to set out on a new victory-laden stretch – starting tonight with Tranmere Rovers (kick off 7.45pm).

Pools had won five on the bounce prior to a recent run of three straight defeats.

But that slide was halted at Chesterfield on Saturday with James Poole (2) and Paul Murray on target in a 3-2 success.

The visit of Rovers is the first of two home matches this week, with league leaders Charlton Athletic next up on Saturday afternoon.

Pools could re-enter the play-off zone with a maximum return this evening, and Wadsworth says his men are in buoyant mood following their weekend triumph.

“We’ve got two home games against two good teams and our tails should be up after Saturday,” he told SportMail today.

“We’re in decent shape and it’s been nice to turn around that little blip that we had.

“But I always knew we would. We jump up and down, everyone gets upset and says the bubble has burst and you don’t know what you’re doing.

“I understand that but I’ve got to stay calm and grimly determined and get on with it, and that’s what we always do.

“We’ve had a fantastic start and we’re in good shape relative to where we’d expect to be and if you’d said that in July it would have done us.

“Now we’ve got to pick up again and put another run together.”

Just one goal separates Pools and Tranmere in League One with the former’s superior goal difference seeing them occupy seventh position.

Les Parry’s side were 2-1 winners at home to Walsall on Saturday and they’re now unbeaten in five in all competitions.

Wadsworth could stick with the same XI which won at Chesterfield, but admits he’ll leave it late before deciding upon his exact starting line-up.

“We’ve got to think carefully,” he said, “The boys who did very well on Saturday need support but do we need to change it?

“We’ve got options, which is nice, but we’ll have to see how the lads are after the weekend and look at what is best for this game.

“I know Tranmere play a 4-5-1 and keep it very tight.

“They’ve also got a lot of pace on the flanks and we’ve got to be ready for them.

“But we’ve got to get back to our best at home because we’ve lost the last two and that’s been bitterly disappointing.”

Sam Collins was on the receiving end of a couple of hefty knocks late in the game as Pools protected their slender lead at the B2Net Stadium.

The skipper, though, will be okay for tonight’s game, but it will come too soon for groin victim Tony Sweeney.

“Sam got a couple of big whacks to the face on Saturday and we were getting ready to bring Ritchie (Humphreys) on,” he explained.

“But Sam hung on and did a great job for us and I thought the centre-backs were back to their best.”

Pools (probable): Flinders; Austin, Hartley, Collins, Wright; Luscombe, Murray, Liddle, Horwood; Poole, Monkhouse. Subs: Rafferty, Humphreys, Brown, Boyd, Nish