Collins’ sights on Hartlepool winning streak

Sam Collins in action against Scunthorpe. Picture by Frank Reid

Sam Collins in action against Scunthorpe. Picture by Frank Reid

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HARTLEPOOL United are more than capable of stringing together another winning streak, starting at home to Newport County tomorrow, and quickly moving up the Sky Bet League Two table.

That is the view of the club’s 36-year-old central defender, Sam Collins, who insists the intention of his team-mates is to win as many matches as possible between now and the end of the season as they chase a play-off place.

Veteran Collins has returned to the side following the sale of Jack Baldwin to Peterborough on transfer deadline day, although the 20-year-old would have been suspended for the last two games anyway.

Collins has been immense at the back alongside on-loan Middlesbrough defender Christian Burgess, with the pair helping Pools to record back-to-back clean sheets.

The latest shut out came in last weekend’s 2-0 win away to Dagenham & Redbridge, and Collins has urged his colleagues to use the momentum and go on a winning run.

“Dagenham was a textbook away performance and if you can do that then more often than not you will do well,” said Collins.

“The other side of that is to win your home games and then you never know.

“There are still enough games left and our intention is to win as many games between now and the end of the season because you just never know in this league.”

Pools’ last away win came in the dramatic 2-1 victory over Morecambe in December, but the momentum gained from Jonathan Franks’ last-minute winner that day quickly evaporated with successive defeats to Bury, Rochdale and Fleetwood.

Collins and Co are hoping that won’t happen again and the former Hull City defender is looking to go on a similar run to the one in October and November, which saw Pools win six out of eight matches in League Two.

Since that impressive run, Pools form has been inconsistent but three clean sheets out of the last four matches have at least given Colin Cooper’s men a foundation to build on.

Tomorrow’s visitors, Newport, are just a place outside the play-off positions but with four matches in hand over some sides above them.

Confident Collins insists Pools can beat any team in the league.

“We are more than capable of beating teams,” he added. “We need to kick on now, we need to get on something like that run we had earlier on in the season.

“You can pick up points so quickly and push on up the league and that is what we want to do.”