Only a matter of time before Hartlepool United win big – Nicky Featherstone

Hartlepool United's powerhouse Nicky Featherstone.
Hartlepool United's powerhouse Nicky Featherstone.

It’s only a matter of time before Hartlepool United give one of their National League rivals a hammering – that’s the view of Nicky Featherstone.

Pools have won three games in their opening seven in the fifth tier and sit just three points off top spot at present.

But none of those wins have been by more than one goal, making for a nervy close in all three encounters.

Featherstone, though, has faith all that will change.

“There is no reason why we cannot succeed at this level,” said the midfielder, whose side travel to the south coast to take on Havant and Waterlooville this afternoon.

“We are creating chances and not always taking them, but we are still getting points.

“It is only a matter of time before we give someone three or four.”

Featherstone, not normally know for his goalscorering prowess, has been one of the main catalysts to Pools’ recent upturn in fortunes.

His link up with long-time partner-in-crime Michael Woods and midfield maestro Liam Noble has been a joy to watch.

Featherstone says he’s enjoying Pools’ more fluid style of play, particularly in midfield, under Matthew Bates.

Talking tactics, and the recent switch from a four to a five-man midfield, he said: “We felt a little exposed in the early games but at the end of the day we were still creating chances, so it was a catch 22.

“With Woodsy in there - I love playing with him. You know what you will get from him.

“We have a bit of intelligence in there. Between the three of us we do not have to say, but one always sees the danger, drops in and lets the others go when we have to. All three of us have the versatility to do that.

“I am enjoying it.”

Noble has been a revelation since coming in on a free from League Two Notts County.

Featherstone thinks he was exactly what the team and the dressing room needed.

“He is a real character,” said Featherstone.

“He knows the game. He has played at this level and succeeded at this level. He has even done it at a higher level.

“He has qualities we maybe lacked in the past.

“We have big characters on and off the pitch this year.”

On team spirit, he continued: “This is the best it has felt, especially off the field, in the last two years.

“Everything feels like it is going in the right direction.

“Hopefully we can push on. It is a tough league and we cannot get too carried away.”