We must reach safety on our own terms, insists Hartlepool United defender Scott Harrison

Hartlepool United's Scott Harrison.
Hartlepool United's Scott Harrison.

Hartlepool United are looking good bets to retain their Football League status.

But defender Scott Harrison says Pools want to stay in League Two on their terms and not just because the teams below them are so bad.

Dave Jones’s side, in 21st, have won three of their last 10 matches and go into today’s tough date with Portsmouth eight points above the relegation zone (kick-off 3pm).

The clubs below Pools have failed to make any inroads on the boys in blue.

Basement side Leyton Orient, managerless again, look doomed – they have lost seven of their last 10 and are haemorrhaging goals.

Newport, despite sacking Graham Westley, are still six points short of 22nd-placed Cheltenham, who, in turn, are two points behind Pools.

Of course, Pools are still not out of the woods given they still have to visit Leyton Orient and Cheltenham this month.

Harrison, who has been at the heart of the improved form under Jones, said: “I don’t want us to be relying on other teams.

“I want us to do it for ourselves.

“If they keep losing and we keep losing then we’ve only stayed up because there are teams worse than us.

“We don’t want to be known as a bad team.”

Pools have just seven games left with 21 points on offer, starting with the visit of promotion favourites Pompey and ending with title hopefuls, Doncaster Rovers..

In between, the fixture list does not look unkind, Morecambe (a), Carlisle (h), Leyton Orient (a), Barnet (h) and Cheltenham (a).

So is the determination to climb the table instead of just clinging on.

“Definitely,” declared Harrison.

“You want to prove yourself, don’t you?

“I don’t think we should be down there, the team we have and the players we’ve got.

“We should be a lot higher, we need to start climbing the table.”