Jake Carroll says Hartlepool United’s team spirit will help them clear relegation zone

Jake Carroll
Jake Carroll

Hartlepool United’s team spirit is as strong as ever - and that could prove a key factor in their bid to climb clear of the danger zone.

With Pools having brought in so many new players in the summer, boss Ronnie Moore took the squad on a pre-season training camp with the Army.

Head physio Ian Gallagher’s inspired idea not only got the players fit but brought the squad together.

And on the evidence of Saturday’s tremendous effort at Cambridge, the players are committed to each other and to the cause.

Pools had the better of the chances at the Abbey Stadium, only for Ben Williamson’s last-minute equaliser to deny them after Jake Gray had put Moore’s men ahead.

Moore’s side are just four points above the drop zone but they can make that gap seven this Saturday by beating Exeter - second-bottom Dagenham & Redbridge do not play this weekend.

Pools would still have two games in hand as well on the Daggers after Saturday.

Left-back Jake Carroll told SportMail the spirit is strong with new players instantly welcomed in.

“It’s a fantastic group of lads,” said the ever-present defender, who joined the club from Championship outfit Huddersfield Town.

“I think when you are higher up and there are bigger squads everyone can be a bit distant and players are more focused on themselves.

“Here, we have a closed-knit group and that’s something I enjoy.

“The new lads who come in settle quickly and everyone gets on.

“Last week, we went go-karting and it’s stuff like that which brings the group closer.

“I think if you don’t do stuff together as a squad that’s when cliques may form and people get comfortable with only two or three team-mates.

“It’s good that we all get out together.

“It was good as well because I won the go-karting!”

Carroll has produced a string of good displays at left-back and shown he has come up to speed on as well as off the pitch.

And, for those who saw the video clip, the Irishman was not bad in the swimming pool either.

After a punishing schedule, Pools did a training session in the pool at Dyke House Sports & Technology College, which rounded off with a game of headers with the last man in line nodding it into a mini-basketball hoop.

Or that was the plan!

“We had Scott Fenwick at the end as the finisher,” said Carroll. “But he was a nightmare so we had to switch it around, I got the winning header.”