Hartlepool Utd star can unlock Leyton Orient

James Poole in action against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID
James Poole in action against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes will turn to James Poole in a bid to “unlock” Leyton Orient tomorrow afternoon.

The Pools boss concedes that draws are not good enough for his side given their perilous position at the bottom of League One – they are 11 points from safety going into the game.

Hughes was particularly frustrated by Pools’ lack of invention during Tuesday’s goalless draw with Portsmouth, but he sees hope in the form of Poole.

“We never had that player just to unlock the door the other night,” he reflected.

“But I’ve slept on that and I think we actually have – James Poole.

“He’s the one who can unlock the door and go and get at them.

“If we can get the ball to him in a more advanced position when it’s one-on-one he’s more than capable of going past his player with ease.

“He’s getting it too deep now and he’s having to take two or three players on.

“We’ll have to look at that because he can go past players for fun.”

And, with 15 games remaining, Hughes admits this weekend’s home clash is another “must win”.

“It’s all about results the position we’re in – we’ll take three points any way we can get them,” he said.

“Draws are no good to us.

“I said that the other night with half an hour to go.

“We might have to swing it around in terms of Simon Walton playing further up, in behind the front two rather than in the quarterback role.

“That gives the opposition a problem but at this moment in time we’re using Simon to protect our back four, and he’s doing it well.

“But I would rather have a go and get beat at the moment.

“That’s why we opened up on Tuesday.

“It’s going to have to be like that.

“Football is a strange game and if we can beat Leyton Orient then the picture might change.

“At least we’re giving ourselves a fighting chance and we’re putting a bit of pride back into the club.”