Hughes pleased with Hartlepool United performance against Stevenage

WATCHING ANOTHER DEFEAT: John Hughes in the dugout during the game against Stevenage. Picture by FRANK REID
WATCHING ANOTHER DEFEAT: John Hughes in the dugout during the game against Stevenage. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes refuses to bemoan Hartlepool United’s misfortune, insisting he was pleased with his side’s performance during the 2-0 defeat to Stevenage.

Pools are now without a win in four under the new boss and have lost three under his care at Victoria Park, leaving them 11 points from safety.

Saturday’s performance, however, was arguably their best of recent weeks and the visitors’ opening goal arrived against the run of play when Marcus Haber poked home in the 19th minute.

Lucas Akins netted from the penalty spot after half-time, Jordan Richards having been harshly penalised for handball.

But, despite seeing Pools’ winless run extended to 20, Hughes was upbeat when he spoke to SportMail today.

“I refuse to talk about luck and decisions going against us,” he said.

“I applaud effort and commitment.

“I’ve seen that all week in training and their effort in how they have gone about it in tough conditions has been first class.

“We’ve had two good weeks in training without a game and looked free.

“As a coach you have to be switched on – are performances better? Are they passing the ball better?

“A lot of my training is short, sharp switches in play.

“Things were evident on Saturday and I was pleased.”

SEE Monday’s Mail for full story