Sunday, March 31, 2013

Stevenage Preview

Friday was another disappointing performance from Pools who lost 2-0. Their fate now looks to be sealed and they are on the brink of relegation. Results went against the club again and the gap to safety has now opened up to eight points. Pools can't be relegated after tomorrows game, however, it's looking like they need to win all five of their remaining games to stay up and that isn't likely to happen.

Simon Walton was sent off and injuries to Ritchie Humphreys, James Poole, Anthony Sweeney and Evan Horwood means a desperate selection headache ahead of the trip to Stevenage. It's not been a good Easter period through March. Games come thick and fast and Pools just haven't dealt with fixture pile up and the threat of relegation. 

Pools need to pull together to avoid finishing bottom and stave off relegation for as long as possible. Stevenage welcome back former manager Graham Westley for his third spell in charge tomorrow. 

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Friday, March 29, 2013

MK Dons Preview

Due to a heavy defeat at Oldham a fortnight ago and a draw last weekend at Walsall means it's almost an impossible task for Pools to stay up now.

The gap to climb out of the bottom four remains six points but Pools only have six games left and they have now dropped to the foot of the league table. The number six is also the number of games Pools have gone without scoring. 

A breakdown of individual performances this season reveals Pools lack a goal scorer. Whilst having the worst goal difference in League 1 the club's top joint top scorer's Jonathan Franks and James Poole have only managed four goals each. John Hughes has consequently called for urgent talks with the chairman to discuss plans for next campaign. Be it Leagues 1 or 2 the club need goal threat.

Steve Howard was shipped out loan to Sheffield Wednesday. His early season promises have failed to materialise. Pools fans who thought he would be replaced were wrong too as once again the club have failed to take advantage of the loan window. A sorry end to a sorry season seems to be apparent.

Luke James managed to put a smile on some fans faces this week as he managed to the LFE apprentice of the year for League One at the Football League Awards. A talented young man with a big future ahead of him, surely he's the answer to Pools problems? 

Pools will welcome MK Dons to Victoria Park this afternoon knowing a win could off a slight glimmer of hope. 

This article from the HP Mail sums up how the season has played out.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Oldham Preview

Crunch time for Pools! Their season rests upon 90 minutes at Oldham tomorrow night. Win and Pools are on the brink of safety, lose and it appears all over. A seven point gap would open up at the bottom and relegation from League 1 after six years would beckon.

Despite two draws at home to Colchester United and Yeovil in recent weeks Pools lost 1-0 at the weekend to Coventry. Whilst other results managed to go their way the team remain in deep trouble. The manager needs to rally his troops for another big occasion against the Latics.

(The situation Pools must rectify if they are to close the gap on the teams above.)

This week it was announced that Jack Balwin would miss the remainder of the season through injury which is a major blow to side. John Hughes picked up manager of the month for February and Peter Hartley player of the month. The reward reflects the transformation the manager has installed into this side since his arrival.

The club were also featured in a video released this week by the BBC on the great escape and on Hartley and Poole scoring in the same game.

It can be seen here:

These achievements will all be in vain if it's not three points tomorrow at Boundary Park. 

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Doncaster Preview

Pools made it seven unbeaten when they dispatched of Crewe 3-0 on Tuesday night. The unfortunate thing for them was that all the other teams around them in the relegation picture picked up points.

Goals from Charlie Wyke, Jonathan Franks and Andy Monkhouse were enough to see off the visitors. Six points is now the gap to survival and who'd have expected that, that would be the case ten games ago.  

Doncaster Rovers are the opponents for Saturday at the Keepmoat Stadium. The League 1 leaders. Pools drew 1-1 at home earlier on in the season and managed to win away last season. Despite travelling down to facing tough opposition, who can defy Pools another victory whilst their form remains the best in the league.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Crewe Preview

The good times continue to come Pools. Another three points came in a victory over Leyton Orient in the 90th minute when Luke James struck a winner. Pools remained unbeaten and the League 1 table after the weekend of the 16th looked like this:

(Pools moved above Portsmouth.)

Next was the journey to struggling rivals Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park who Pools had already beaten this season. Few could have predicted that lightning would strike again. Pools won 2-1 and stretched their run of games to six without defeat. Here is an updated table.

(Unbelievable Jeff)

Pools are just 8 points from safety with a game in hand on Scunthorpe who sit in 20th on 35 points, just outside the relegation zone. A victory in tomorrow night's game at home to Crewe, who Pools lost 5-0 to earlier on in the season, means the great escape no longer looks impossible.

Without getting to carried away Pools have got teams looking over their shoulder's. With thirteen games to go who'd have thought the club would be in with a fighting shout of survival. We at Pools Never Say Die. 

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Leyton Orient Preview

Pools conjured up another adequate week of results. Going to Swindon last week one of the league's form teams and earning a point was no mean feat. Performances do not so much matter right, it's results that do!

A rescheduled game in midweek presented Pools with another chance to continue their momentum. Three points were essential against 2nd bottom club Portsmouth. Unfortunately the side could only manage to a draw but nevertheless negativity is not up for negotiation. Pools are fighting for their lives.

Four games unbeaten, one point behind Portsmouth and 11 off safety. Pools can easily accumulate the total required to survive at this rate of points accumulation. 

Leyton Orient are the next club to be welcomed into the lion's den at the Vic tomorrow. Orient are five games unbeaten away from home and so someone's run of results must end.

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Saturday, February 09, 2013

Swindon Town Preview

Last weekend's heroics seemed to have just about subsided now though what a memorable day Saturday proved to be. 

A 2-1 home victory against opponents Notts County meant three more points and back to back victories for the first time since September 2011. James Poole who I highlighted last week as being one to watch scored the first and the Peter Hartley the second. Hartley and Poole scoring for Hartlepool, you couldn't make that up could you?

'HartleyPoole' was trending number 1 on twitter in for UK come 5 o'clock that evening and it was brilliant to see Pools getting such positive publicity. If people didn't know about Hartlepool United before, they do now!

Swindon Town are a tricky next proportion for Pools. The Wilshere club are right towards the head of the table and are riding a wave of momentum. A virus appears to have hit the squad this week and so a majority of players are doubtful to be involved for Swindon. This gives Pools a big advantage and one they need to grasp as a win could lift them off the foot of the league table should other results go their way.

The great escape is not looking so impossible at present.

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