Hartlepool Utd v Maidstone: Promotion’s still the aim for boss Craig Harrison, despite sticky start

Pools boss Craig Harrison. Picture by Frank Reid.
Pools boss Craig Harrison. Picture by Frank Reid.

Hartlepool United still have their sights firmly on the top seven of the National League – despite their woeful start to the season.

Pools go into tomorrow’s match with Maidstone United very much looking up at the top of the division rather than looking over their shoulders.

Craig Harrison’s team, currently fourth bottom, are six points outside the play offs and 10 adrift of leaders Sutton.

But, asked whether going up was still a realistic prospect, Harrison answered: “Of course it is.

“Ten points? That’s just a good week, wins on Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday while the teams above you perhaps don’t have a good week and you are right back amongst it.

“We’ve only just reached the end of the first month.

“Look at Christmas and if you are in the top half and not a million miles away then you have the opportunity to kick on. That’s still the aim.

“We are looking to get promoted, whether that is automatically or through the play-offs. We need to put ourselves into a position to give ourselves that aopportunity.”

Pools have, of course, won just one of their first seven games, but Harrison says they will look to double their win tally tomorrow against the Stones.

The Kent club have made a fair start to the season and are unbeaten in their last four matches, including results against high-fliers Sutton and Dagenham & Redbridge.

“Maidstone have started well and they’ve picked up two good results over the Bank Holiday weekend,” added Harrison.

“They won 3-0 at Sutton and drew with Dagenham & Redbridge, who were top at the time. It’s a tough game.

“We’ve watched them a few times, so we know what they are about.

“It’s important that we take what we did on Monday (at Guiseley) into the game.

“We need to start where we left off – the high tempo, getting into their faces, make sure we do all the dirty work, and then hopefully the quality will look after itself.”