No relegation hangover at Hartlepool United

Michael Woods shows the pain of defeat against Doncaster. Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Woods shows the pain of defeat against Doncaster. Picture by FRANK REID

Michael Woods says there can be no room for any relegation hangovers at Hartlepool United.

Pools’ players yesterday trained in front of the media at Maiden Castle yesterday under new manager Craig Harrison.

There is no time for a hangover from last season


Just 51 days have elapsed since Pools suffered the ignominy of a first ever drop into the National League. despite the last-day heroics when promoted Doncaster were beaten 2-1.

Pools now have a new boss, not to mention six new signings – Scott Loach, Blair Adams, Luke George, Ryan Donaldson, Jack Munns and Jake Cassidy.

And Woods says there is a good atmosphere at their Durham HQ as they launch what they hope will be a promotion campaign.

“There has been a massive turnaround in staff, a lot of new faces. It feels like a different place,” said the 27-year-old, who is now one of the club’s longest-serving players.

“You are meeting a lot of new people for the first time, but there is a good vibe and there has to be.

“There is no time for a hangover from last season. It has been done before – Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham have both come straight back.

“That positive vibe is important from day one.”

The Pools players have seen the sight of a football already, though former Chelsea midfielder Woods admits that there has been some serious graft in the opening couple of days.

“The first two weeks are always a bit daunting, to be honest,” he said.

“I think the first (friendly) game is always the benchmark. Once you get to that, you can see some light at the end of the tunnel.

“The first couple of weeks, the gaffer has said, will be hard work – it’s needed, we’ve had six or seven weeks off.

“We’ve had our programmes and what not and most of the lads have come back in good nick.

“But that does not match the work we do here.

“I’m excited to be back, but if anyone says that they enjoy the first few weeks of pre-season then they are lying, for sure.”