There are no excuses for Hartlepool United’s players now.
That’s the message from manager Craig Harrison as the squad gear up for a crucial run of fixtures.
A tough season for Pools both on and off the pitch has culminated in performances and results dipping alarmingly over the last couple of months against the backdrop of financial issues and takeover talk.
The news earlier this week that funds raised by supporters would enable the club to fulfil their two home games in February has given everybody a lift.
That, along with the settlement of a HMRC bill and the fact that the players were paid has been welcomed by Harrison, his backroom staff and the squad.
And with the transfer window closed, and just Nicky Deverdics lost after his move to Wrexham, Harrison has called on the players to focus on matters on the field now.
“It’s been a strange period,” the Pools boss said.
“There was a lot of things going on, transfer deadline, people could be moving on and it was busy.
“Throw in the lads got paid as well after some concern and it all came together – there’s no excuses now.
“I said to them we put it to bed, move on and win as many as we can of the 15 games left. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, but there’s been a lot more positivity.
“Since the window closed, and we lost Nicky Deverdics, and the sharks were circling looking to take players for free, but where would that have left us?”
Harrison says that the players have to put any future talk of takeovers and financial issues to the back of their mind now – and they should be well practised at ignoring the distractions after three months of speculation.
“At first the off-field issues were new, the lads maybe didn’t know how to cope with it,” he added.
“It was hearsay and wondering, but now we know where we are.”