TONIGHT’S match at home to Dagenham & Redbridge is an early chance for Hartlepool United to “put things right” says versatile defender Neil Austin.
Three defeats on the trot – two in the league and one in the Capital One Cup – has created a sombre mood among the fans at Victoria Park and 31-year-old Austin admits the players need to raise their game.
The latest loss came at the weekend, with Pools losing 2-0 to Bury in Sky Bet League Two, thanks to goals from Daniel Nardiello and sub Danny Rose taking advantage of a poor mistake by Matthew Bates midway through the second.
Tonight’s visitors are the Daggers, who currently prop up the league and Austin said it represents an early chance to put right the defensive errors that have cost Pools dearly so far this campaign.
Wayne Burnett has so far signed a dozen new players and include experienced front man Jamie Cureton in their squad.
But Austin – who reverted to partnering captain Bates at centre-half at the weekend – is looking forward to the challenge of another tough match.
“We have the chance to put it right straight away,” said the former Barnsley defender.
“That is the beauty of football, there is always another match around the corner and a chance to put the errors to one side and bounce back.
“Dagenham have a lot of clever players, a lot of forwards attacking the ball and it will be another tough game for us.
“We are going to have to raise our game though.”
Austin is an experienced player with more than 400 career appearances under his belt.
While he knows there is still a long way to go this season, he admits the types of goals conceded by Pools have left them frustrated.
He told SportMail: “On Saturday we were chasing the game and even more so once they scored the second but there is a long way to go yet.
“It is frustrating though, the types of goals we are conceding at the moment.
“We will look at it again on the DVDs because it is something that needs addressing.
“The balls into the box as well - they have to be defended better than they have been.”