Legend Ritchie is backing Pools

Ritchie Humphreys
Ritchie Humphreys

RITCHIE Humphreys has backed Hartlepool United to mount a push for the play-offs providing they unearth a level of consistency.

Humphreys, 36, traded the blue and white of Pools in the summer for the blue and white of The Spireites after a dozen years of service at Victoria Park.

The move appears to have been a calculated one, with Paul Cook’s side sitting top of the league and Colin Cooper’s team in mid-table.

The PFA chairman hasn’t seen his former club this campaign but believes a run of good form can begin their ascent towards a top-seven berth come spring – just like he has experienced with his new side following an autumn blip.

He told SportMail: “It’s never easy when a team gets relegated to start picking up wins again and that was the case before Pools won five successively at one point.

“I think the lads will think that they can get into the play-offs.

“There isn’t a lot between the top and about 16th, it’s so tight.

“It’s all about a run of form, winning three of four games on the bounce and you put yourself in the mix.

“We started very well but then we went on a run where we couldn’t win but gradually we are back to winning ways.

“We were putting in some fantastic performances and now we’ve been playing a few not-so-attractive games but they’re getting us the wins and to go back top on Friday night against Exeter was a nice bonus.”

It will be an alien experience for Humphreys to line up against Pools but he will not allow any nostalgia to creep into his game.

“It will be weird playing Hartlepool United having played for them so many times,” he added.

“But we are all professionals so everyone will want to win the game.

“I’m looking forward to it, it’s exciting to see the lads.

“I’m really good mates with Sweens so I speak to him a fair bit.

“When they play locally to me if I can watch a game I’ll certainly be there.”