It’s time for Hartlepool United to roll up sleeves says ex-Middlesbrough midfielder

GOAL SCORER: Marlon Hsarewood in action for Hartlepool United against Wycombe Wanderers
GOAL SCORER: Marlon Hsarewood in action for Hartlepool United against Wycombe Wanderers

SCRAP, roll your sleeves up and battle.

That was the simple message from Matty Dolan to his Hartlepool United team-mates after the defeat to Wycombe Wanderers.

The 21-year-old was in from the start after signing on a month-long loan deal from parent club Bradford City.

But the Hartlepool-born midfielder was left frustrated following the 3-1 defeat to the league leaders.

Not that Dolan, who also had a spell on loan last season, thinks the squad can feel sorry for themselves.

“There wasn’t much in the game and we said that afterwards in a meeting with the players,” said Dolan.

“But it is tough when you are at the bottom and people make mistakes.

“The lads had been working all week on getting in their faces and I didn’t think they were any great shakes.

“If we can cut out individual errors then it will turn around.

“There wasn’t much in the game apart from a couple of errors which we need to block out.

“It is tough when you are down the bottom.

“You have to scrap, roll your sleeves up and battle.

“We have the quality in the squad, we just need a lucky break – we can’t give in.”

Paris Cowan-Hall opened the scoring in the first-half before Neil Austin blazed a penalty high over the bar five minutes before the break.

Two quickfire goals in the space of three second-half minutes from Matt Bloomfield and Alfie Mawson sealed the win.

Marlon Harewood did pull one back late on but it was far too little, too late as Pools tasted defeat for the sixth time on home soil this campaign.

Dolan said: “It was disappointing to go behind and then to miss the penalty.

“Ozzy has been taking penalties for as long as I have been watching Pools.

“You are thinking this is going in but it was just one of those things.

“It was very frustrating but at half-time the gaffer said we had to start the second like we had the first.

“But it was flat all round and it was tough to get on the ball and things we tried were not coming off.”

The midfielder, who played alongside Brad Walker and Nicky Featherstone, in a 4-3-3 shape felt the home side should have done more offensively and had more shots on the Chairboys goal.

But he praised experienced striker Harewood for the shift he put in against a strong back four.

“Wycombe were a big strong side, their back four was good but Marlon was a big handful all game.

“We just need to utilise him more and get more goals.

“Marlon worked tirelessly all game and if you do that you will get a chance - he got that and won the penalty as well.”

It is Dolan’s second loan spell at Pools after spending the first half of last season here under then boss Colin Cooper, scoring two goals in 25 appearances.

Dolan is dangerous from dead-ball situations and he showed that within the opening three minutes, whipping in two dangerous corners.

“We had been working on that near post run from corners, and it was a couple of inches off Marlon’s head,” added Dolan.

“That would have been a nice start.”