Hartlepool Utd v Cheltenham Town: Midfielder Woods says Pools must deliver on their performances

Hartlepool United's Michael Woods (left) looks to create against Stamford in last week's FA Cup tie. Picture by Frank Reid
Hartlepool United's Michael Woods (left) looks to create against Stamford in last week's FA Cup tie. Picture by Frank Reid
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Talk is cheap. That’s the message from Hartlepool United midfielder Michael Woods ahead of the visit of Cheltenham Town to the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

Woods says he is sick and tired of trawling out the same excuses week-in, week-out to explain away yet another disappointing result, particularly at home.

And Woods believes that now is the time for Pools to start backing up their words with actions.

“There is only so long you can go on talking about it,” said the 26-year-old.

“We need to do something about it.

“How many clean sheets are we keeping? Not many, are we?

“I don’t want to sound like a parrot, but we are not far away.

“It is a bit of know-how and experience that has been the difference.”

Pools finally got the monkey off their back last week by beating Stamford in the FA Cup at the Vic.

That ended a run which stretched back to April without a home victory.

And Woods is determined to make sure Pools net their first home league win tomorrow, and banish all that talk as well.

“It is a good chance for us,” he said ahead of the Robins clash.

“That home league win has to come soon. I think it is coming.

“I think back to games against Newport, Barnet and others, we just keep shooting ourselves in the foot.

“If we can keep the performance levels up (tomorrow), I am confident we can get all three points.

“It’s not far off at all.

“If we win a couple on the bounce, we could easily be 10 places higher up the division.

“To do well in any division at any level, you have to win your home games.”

The last six days has seen a massive upturn in fortunes for Woods.

Having missed more than a month of football, he made his first start since the Stevenage hammering in the FA Cup last weekend.

He also got a full 90 minutes under his belt in the Checkatrade Trophy in the week.

On his fitness, Woods said: “You can do all the training in the world, but you can’t beat getting out on the pitch.

“Sam (Collins) has been great with me, giving me minutes with the Under-23s and reserves, but it can’t match senior football.

“And I am just glad to get my first 90 minutes under my belt for the first time in God knows how long.

“Hopefully now I can stay fit.”

While he got back into action it was hardly the result Pools, Hignett or the club record low crowd of 380 had wanted on Wednesday night.

Woods says the match itself – a 2-1 home loss – was typical of Pools’ season so far.

He explained: “It was difficult.

“The gaffer wants to win every game. He wasn’t happy at the end of it. We showed them too much respect and made it too easy for them to play.

“We cause our own problems at times. We invited pressure.

“The gaffer changed it in the last 15 and we were better.

“It has been the pattern of our season so far.

“When we fall behind we get a reaction, but when we got ahead we can’t hold a lead at the minute.

“It is something that we have got to rectify quickly because the margins in this league are so fine.

“If we win the games we should have, we’d be in the top six.

“For that, we only have ourselves to blame.”