Experienced campaigner Harry Worley believes the hard work on the training pitch is finally beginning to pay off for Hartlepool United.
Boss Ronnie Moore was left angry with his side’s poor defensive displays in the defeats to Scunthorpe United and Gateshead, with the players struggling to get to grips with the 3-5-2 formation.
But a week of hard work - plus a run out against non-league Dunston - resulted in a far more organised and resolute defensive display against Chesterfield.
Worley, 26, said: “We played against a League One team and did really well to be fair. To lose was disappointing but I thought we did well.
“You have to remember that we have had 10 new signings this summer and people are still getting used to playing with each other.
“You will have bad games, we just hope we have got them out of the way in pre-season!
“We have been working hard on the new shape and we are now a lot more comfortable together.
“I have played 3-5-2 before, when I was on loan at Crewe and at Newport for a year, where I played all three positions in the back three.
“I said to the boys after a few of the bad defeats that it can work, you just need to work on it as a group.
“We showed that.”
Worley played the opening three games at Stevenage last season, only for the centre-half to suffer an anterior cruciate ligament against Southend United in August.
A long rehabilitation followed but he returned before the end of the season, playing a reserve-team game and an hour of the final League Two match against Luton Town.
Worley, who once had a game for Pools’ reserves during Chris Turner’s spell in charge at the Vic, is now fully fit. Turner, who is now chief executive of Chesterfield, was at The Vic on Saturday.
And Worley is enjoying being part of the new-look Pools squad.
Worley added: “When you all get on it helps - you will run a bit further for your mate won’t you!
“We still need to gel a bit more on the pitch but we can take confidence from the performance.”