Richard Money admits he is struggling to work out a system that will get the best out of his Hartlepool United players.
But the manager does know his strikers will be better off with the arrival Jake Cassidy next month.
Money has tried three different systems in his two games in charge. At Leamington Money opted for a 4-3-1-2 with Josh Hawkes behind a front two, he then went with a 4-1-2-1-2 from the off against Havant. Pools looked at their most potent when Hawkes was reintroduced and a 4-2-3-1 deployed in the closing stages on Saturday.
Money admits he’s still working out what the best way forward is in terms of system, ahead of a crucial clash against promotion play-off rivals Gateshead on Boxing Day.
“I think there is a number in the group that we need to find the best shape, system to get the best from them,” he said.
“It is a conundrum the previous manager had, too.
“I have sat and watched back every game this season - I have been trying to work what this team was built on other than the fact it was meant to play with three centre backs.
“I am not sure the mix of the jigsaw really fits. We have to try and find that.
“If it is not there we have to try and do something about that in January.
“We will find it but until then we have to play a way to get points.”
One thing Money is sure on, though, is the return of Cassidy from Maidstone United.
The striker was somewhat surprisingly sent out on loan by Bates at the start of the campaign, but will form a major part of Money’s tactics.
Money says it will be difficult for anyone to find a better option than Cassidy in the winter window - a traditionally difficult time to get bodies in.
“I think they will both be better with Cassidy,” he said of Pools’ frontline.
“We are little bit lightweight up top. In this league you generally play against two or three big centre backs.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t think the both of them (Niko Muir and Luke James) have ability.
“I expect Jake to be here. He will not go away anywhere else.
“To find forwards in January is difficult.
“But I do not see who is out there that will give us a better option.
“There will be times where we might play all three. But I know the team will have more strength and a focal point with Jake back.”
When asked whether we are starting to see the hallmarks of a ‘Richard Money side’ the manager answered: “No, not yet.
“I don’t like centre halves to run out with the ball but I want them available to recycle it.
“I don’t think we got through the lines all that well, not as good as we did last week.
“We got from the first third to second well last week, not this weekend. Maybe it was the step up in class.
“We started with Harvey because we thought they’d play three up top. It didn’t happen and we changed it.
“If I am honest when Hawkes came on in the hole we looked at our best in a 4-2-3-1.
“We don’t have wide players who can beat a man. We have wide midfield players but no real pace. That forces you to play a certain way.
“That shape at the end would work with dribblers but we do not have them.
“As long as we can keep picking up results until we find a system that works that’s a positive.”