Keeping things tight gives Hartlepool United the psychological edge - Craig Harrison

Cutting out defensive errors is giving Hartlepool United the psychological edge - that’s the view of boss Craig Harrison.

Pools have won three of their last four, a run which has seen them climb from the National League doldrums to within a fighting chance of getting in the play-off mix before Autumn is out.

And it is no surprise to Harrison that in those four games his side of conceded just once, cutting out the defensive mishaps which were costly points week-in, week-out at the start of the campaign.

He explains: “We are not giving poor goals away now.

“If you give goals away it gives the opposition the chance to control the games.

“I am a big statistician. 80% of the time when a team scores first they don’t get beat. It is a psychological thing.

“Subconsciously you make decisions you didn’t want to have to make when you are behind, that happens on and off the pitch.

“All it takes is one person to be out of position and the whole team look disjointed. It is a game of fine margins - it always has been in top level sport.

“Those fine margins have been in our favour lately, it was the other way at the start of the season.”

Although keen to notch another win at Leyton Orient tomorrow, he accepts a draw would not be the end of the world.

Harrison continued: “The worst case scenario when you cut out the errors is a clean sheet and a point. Every point is going to be crucial at the end of the season. A point could be the difference between success and failure.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of this job - the only change recently has been the results.”