Hartlepool United's Tom Parkes says defence is increasing in confidence as Pools continue to keep it tight at the back

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Hartlepool United defender Tom Parkes feels the Pools back four are growing in confidence after keeping their third successive home clean sheet.

Pools had managed just one home shutout in 14 months prior to that but have been a team transformed at the back since the arrival of Parkes, who scored his first goal in blue and white at the weekend, and central defensive partner Luke Waterfall.

The pair have added height, power, leadership and experience since they joined within a couple of weeks of one another in January and Pools have gone from all at sea defensively to solid as a rock.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The arrivals of Parkes and Waterfall, who has twice captained teams to promotion from the National League, has also helped those around them.

Tom Parkes has helped to transform Pools' defensive fortunes.Tom Parkes has helped to transform Pools' defensive fortunes.
Tom Parkes has helped to transform Pools' defensive fortunes.

Parkes, who as a left-footed centre-half is a prized asset, has helped David Ferguson no end with the former York full-back rediscovering his best form since his arrival.

Likewise, Luke Waterfall can often be seen talking to teenage full-back Louis Stephenson on the right of defence as Pools look difficult to break down across the back line.

Behind them, Pete Jameson has been back to his best since returning to the side against Southend and hasn't conceded a goal at home in 270 minutes of football, plus added time.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although it is unclear whether Jameson, who is on loan from Harrogate, will be at the Suit Direct again next season, it would not be a huge surprise to see all of the current back five remain at the club over the summer.

David Ferguson admitted he isn't certain of his future but it would be a shock to see him leave, while Waterfall has another year on his deal and Parkes looks set to extend.

Add in the returning Dan Dodds to the back line and Phillips, together with chief scout Ronnie Moore and head of football Joe Monks, have a solid base from which to build their defence around.

And Parkes, who has been outstanding since signing from Livingston, admits he and his fellow defenders are getting more confident as each game goes by.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Luke's here next season, Louis Stephenson has come in and been fantastic and David Ferguson's been brilliant," he said.

"When you get clean sheets, it gives you confidence as defenders.

"Three clean sheets in a row at home is a massive positive.

"It's not just down to the defenders, it's the midfielders, wingers and strikers doing their part as well.

"If you get clean sheets, it gives you a massive boost; you're still in the game at 0-0, and then you've got a chance to go and win games.

"That's what me and Luke came in for, to get clean sheets.

"We want to defend, and we're just enjoying it at the minute."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.