HARTLEPOOL United goalkeeper Scott Flinders admits that he is desperate to avoid a repeat of last season’s frustrations this time around.
The Pools No.1 was forced to watch on during no fewer than 20 matches last year as his outfield comrades failed to breach the opposition target.
It was that toothless attack which ultimately cost Pools a shot at the play-offs as they finished in the nonetheless respectable position of 13th in League One.
Flinders, like Pools fans, is hoping to see some increased activity on the transfer front over the next couple of weeks, and there is only one type of player he wants to welcome into the Victoria Park changing room.
“We all saw over the course of the season where we lacked,” said the 26-year-old, who will return to Maiden Castle for pre-season training late next week.
“I travel in with the lads from Yorkshire and we spent most of the season talking about ‘ifs and buts’.
“So if the manager can get the players in who he wants then there’s no reason why we can’t be a Carlisle type and challenge up there.
“They did it and just missed out on the play-offs – and don’t forget we beat them twice last season (2-1 & 4-0).
“We just need to find those goals on a more consistent basis.”
At Flinders’ end of the park it was a different story with 14 clean sheets recorded.
He doesn’t expect any transfer movement in the defensive department over the coming weeks and believes that the back five can be the foundation upon which success is built.
“The gaffer is happy with myself and the back four - we’ve got a good core,” he said.
“You look at Arsenal in their heyday – David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn.
“We see ourselves as a little bit like that and the number of clean sheets supports that.
“The goals-against column was quite encouraging – it was the goals-for which let us down.
“It can be a little bit frustrating as a goalkeeper that you can’t make an impact at the other end but we don’t get on at the strikers because it’s a team game.
“We know we can defend a lead and we very rarely lose from a winning position.
“So if we can add a few goals to the team over the summer then I see no reason why we can’t turn 13th into a comfortable top-10 position.
“After that, who knows, but the potential is definitely there.”