Paul Hartley sets this target for Hartlepool United ahead of Tranmere Rovers and Bradford City home double

Hartlepool United are targeting maximum points according to manager Paul Hartley as they prepare for a Suit Direct Stadium double-header.
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Pools welcome Tranmere Rovers tonight, still in search of their first win of the season, before the visit of Bradford City on Saturday lunchtime.

Pools were improved despite their defeat at Northampton Town last time out, where they were able to register their first goal of the new season, and Hartley wants to utilise home advantage over the next few days to get Pools’ season up and running.

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“Your home form is always going to be key but it's just about the next game for us which is Tuesday. Forget about next Saturday,” said Hartley.

Paul Hartley is hoping to capitalise on Hartlepool United's double-header on home soil. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)Paul Hartley is hoping to capitalise on Hartlepool United's double-header on home soil. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Paul Hartley is hoping to capitalise on Hartlepool United's double-header on home soil. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“We’ve got to concentrate on Tuesday’s game first against a difficult Tranmere team, so we’ll regroup and get the players recovered and then we’re ready to go again.

“I said to the players that home games are always going to be vital in the season for success to get more points.

“The next two games we want to try and get maximum points.”

Hartley’s first game at the Suit Direct Stadium ended in a goalless draw with AFC Wimbledon, while Pools have lost both of their opening league fixtures on their travels.

Neill Byrne is set to return to Hartlepool United with Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REIDNeill Byrne is set to return to Hartlepool United with Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
Neill Byrne is set to return to Hartlepool United with Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
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But, although Hartley himself is continuing to adjust to life as a manager in League Two, the Pools boss remains relaxed about things.

“I’ve played in England so I know what it’s about. There’s a lot of physical players, there’s a lot of technical players, a lot of speed and strength so it’s nothing new to me,” he told The Mail.

“But it’s a tough league this. Every game is tough and sets its own challenge.

“Our first three games, two have been away from home, so that’s new for myself but it’s something that I’m enjoying.”

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Pools are set to be without forward Joe Grey for the visit of Tranmere as the 19-year-old continues his return to fitness from a calf injury sustained ahead of the season.

Mikael Ndjoli has been back in training and is nearing a return while Hartley could hand a debut to new signing Wes McDonald.

Former Pools defender Neill Byrne is likely to make his return to the Suit Direct Stadium after his decision to join the Merseysiders in the summer.