Neil Austin believes break can benefit Hartlepool United

Neil Austin
Neil Austin

HARTLEPOOL United vice-captain Neil Austin admits it’s time for some soul searching this weekend as the players embark on a rare mid-season break.

Mick Wadsworth has afforded his men a few days away from Maiden Castle with their early exit from the FA Cup meaning there is no fixture tomorrow afternoon.

But Pools go into the rest period on the back of seven consecutive home defeats, the latest reverse coming on Tuesday night as Preston North End emerged from their own 13-game winless slump with a 1-0 victory.

Austin has revealed that the Victoria Park dressing room cut a pretty disconsolate place in the wake of that game.

But he believes the free weekend is a chance to draw a line under recent struggles before returning to begin preparations for next Saturday’s trip to Brentford.

“There were a lot of heads to the floor in the changing room on Tuesday,” admitted the Pools ever-present, who has skippered the side in recent weeks with Sam Collins sidelined.

“Everyone was down in the dumps a little bit and I think the rest this weekend might do us good.

“We can’t be too downhearted, we’ve just got to pick ourselves back up and get on with it.

“Maybe the week off is a good thing after the two disappointing defeats we’ve just had in four days.

“It gives a chance for everyone to get over it.

“It’s also a chance for those with little injuries and knocks to get closer to fitness.

“Everyone can have a weekend off with their family and then come in nice and fresh on Monday.”