Hartlepool United’s goal drought is no need to panic – Mick Wadsworth

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HARTLEPOOL boss Mick Wadsworth is refusing to panic despite a League One goal drought which is fast approaching the five-hour mark.

Pools drew another blank in the goalless draw at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night despite dominating throughout.

That was in sharp contrast to the New Year’s Day win over Oldham Athletic in which Wadsworth’s boys plundered four goals en-route to a fifth straight victory.

Next up is tomorrow’s trip to Peterborough United, with Pools having picked up an incredible 19 points on the road this season from a return of just nine goals.

But Wadsworth said that he has every faith his side will soon rediscover their scoring touch.

“I don’t even think of it in terms of time without a goal because I cope with it as we go along,” said the Pools boss. “I think we are capable of scoring goals and we will score goals.

“Over the games we’ve played we’ve had a reasonable return and it’s only two home games since we scored four.

“You’re going to have spells where they dry up, there’s no doubt about that – ask Chelsea. But could we do with a striker who is a 20-goal-a-season-man? Yes, of course we could – it’s a case of finding that player.

“It’s not a worry for me, though, I’m aware of it and if we keep playing like we did at Bristol then we will score.

“The good thing is we’ve got more than one player who has got a goal in them – that’s quite comforting that we’re not relying on one player. But a goalscorer would be nice – hopefully we’ve already got him at the club.”

James Brown, though, looks set to miss tomorrow’s game because of sickness.

The 24-year-old striker has not trained since the start of the week.

Brown was an unused sub at the Memorial Stadium with Andy Monkhouse deputising in attack – a role the Yorkshireman will again be asked to take up at London Road.

Midfielder Paul Murray returns to the squad after missing the draw at Bristol because of sickness.

Peterborough are fifth in the table, yet victory at London Road could see Pools leapfrog Darren Ferguson’s men.

Ferguson suffered a 3-1 defeat at league leaders Brighton on Saturday in his first game back in charge of Posh – he returned to the club last week after a year at the helm of Preston North End.

And Wadsworth says his players will have to deal with the galvanising effect the return of their former manager will no doubt have on the home side.

“It’s that new manager syndrome and we’ll have to deal with that,” said Wadsworth, whose men beat Posh 2-0 in the reverse fixture back in October.

“They’ve got some very good players but we had a great result against them at home and that set us off on a good run. For Darren it’s like putting an old pair of slippers back on going back to a club he knows and it will be comfortable for him.

“He’ll know most of the players – he probably brought most of them to the club. But our away record speaks for itself and confidence is high following Tuesday’s game.

“That was taking our level of performance to another level – we just need that goal now.”