PAUL Murray is in no doubt how important tomorrow’s game against York City is – labelling the match a “six-pointer”.
Most managers would attempt to downplay the magnitude of the match against fourth-bottom Minstermen at Victoria Park.
But Murray readily admits this is a “huge” game for his side, who are bottom of Sky Bet League Two with just 12 points from their opening 17 matches.
The Cumbrian also believes the derby tie against Russ Wilcox’s side could shape the rest of the season with subsequent home matches against Wycombe Wanderers and Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup to follow.
Murray said: “We can’t be nervous or cagey, we have to go for it because we need a victory.
“These next three home games will go a long way to shaping the rest of our season.
“I am trying to get Victoria Park to be very solid, a place where nobody wants to come.
“We have had another full week on the training ground which has been great to get my ideas across.
“The York match is a huge one for sure, it’s a six-pointer in November!
“We have drawn and won at home the last two games, so there’s a bit of form and we are really looking forward to it.
“I’ve got my targets and I’m hoping the players have their own points-wise too.
“It’s a big game for us at home and a big step towards survival in League Two.
“There will be a good atmosphere, one we can hopefully capitalise on and get a home victory.
“We haven’t fallen too far behind at the bottom and a point last week would have helped.
“This is about trying to get a lift, a boost for everyone to see – staff and players.
“When we get off the bottom, you creep up a place, another place and take that momentum.”
York - who have one win in 11 league matches - go into the game on the back of a 3-1 defeat at Wimbledon in an FA Cup first round replay.
Murray and his assistant Willie Donachie travelled down to watch the match midweek.
Pools are assessing the fitness of Tommy Miller, who has been out with a calf injury, while Jack Compton and Stuart Parnaby (both knee) are definitely out.
Michael Woods could return to the squad after missing last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Southend United through injury.
Meanwhile, Wilcox has forward Wes Fletcher back from injury while he is also trying to bring Sheffield United’s Diego de Girolamo back in on loan but veteran striker Deon Burton is ruled out through injury.
Wilcox was left frustrated with his side’s performance on Tuesday night and the ongoing battle to bring in new signings.
“I know money is very tight, but we can’t keep ticking along with the same personnel,” said Wilcox.
“We need to add some quality to the group if we can.
“It’s a conversation I’ll be having.”
Pools 4-4-2 (likely) Flinders (C), Duckworth, Collins, Harrison, Austin, Walker, Featherstone, Franks, Schmeltz, Wyke, Fenwick.
Subs (from): Richards, Holden, Jones, Hawkins, Bates, Miller, Smith, Woods, Harewood.
York 4-4-2 (likely): Ingham, McCoy, Zubar, Lowe, Ilesanmi, Meikle, Penn, Montrose, Coulson, Fletcher, Hyde.
Subs: Mooney, McCombe, Summerfield, Jarvis, Carson, Platt, Hirst.