Ryan Donaldson determined not to end Hartlepool United's season on sour note - eyes improved show v promotion-chasing Salford City
Ryan Donaldson is desperate for Hartlepool United not to sign off 2018/19 on a sour note.
Pools put in arguably their worst performance of the season against Barrow on Easter Monday - they were outfought, outgunned and outplayed at Holker Street, even though they were only beaten 1-0.
And with just one game to go against Salford City - who still have an outside chance of securing automatic promotion and the National League title at the Super 6 Stadium on the last day - skipper Donaldson is keen to see a reaction from his players.
“We’ve just got to play better than that (at Barrow) or else the fans will not be going home happy,” said the midfielder.
“You know if we play like that then we will get beat again.
“We’ll have a hard week. And with it being the last game of the season you want to play well.
“We’ll see what happens but we need to be better and we will be better.”
The captain admits the squad were some way off their usual level of performance on Monday - he thinks they need to improve at least 20% against the big spending promotion-chasers.
“We’re not good enough to play at 80% - no one is in any league,” he said,
“You’ve got to get yourself right mentally and physically for every game, it doesn’t matter if you had a game on Friday or played Saturday, Monday. It doesn’t matter, you have got to get ready for it.
“No one’s good enough to play at that level and win games, that’s what happens when you are a bit off it and we’re a bit off it at Barrow and didn’t deserve anything.”
Craig Hignett found it difficult to put his finger on exactly what was missing from his side last weekend, Donaldson was also at a loss trying to work it out.
He said: “It’s not easy to find what was missing. I don’t know.
“It’s too late to call it a reality check but it’s just disappointing that we haven’t seen that for a while I don’t think, for that long, there’s probably ten minutes in the game as a whole where we’ve done alright, we’ve ran forward and we’ve put them under pressure and got a few half chances, but not enough.
“We’ll certainly need to be better Saturday, so there will be a lot of hard work going in because we want to end well.”
Donaldson has revealed a few choice words were exchanged in the Pools dressing room after recording the loss, which but for some wasteful finishing could have been a lot worse on the side’s goals against column.
“It’s probably the first time in a long that it’s happened - arguing or having a go at each other and just asking where we went wrong,” he said.
“It was just a discussion like between professionals, I think there is nothing wrong with that.”