MICK Wadsworth says there’s no room for sulkers in his Hartlepool United squad after shuffling his pack in recent matches.
The Pools boss has risked putting noses out of joint with a re-jig of personnel and tactics intended to help trigger a revival – Saturday’s 1-0 win over Colchester United a clear sign the coach’s tinkering is having the desired effect.
Andy Monkhouse and Leon McSweeney have been the most recent casualties of the changes, while teenage loan striker Ryan Donaldson also found himself on the bench at the weekend after two successive starts.
But Wadsworth has been delighted with the response of the players who have found themselves out of the team.
Indeed, Monkhouse was introduced midway through the second half against The U’s and made two vital contributions – the headed flick for Antony Sweeney’s late winner at one end and a last-gasp block at the other.
And Wadsworth said: “I was very pleased with Andy Monkhouse’s response. He’s made the goal, he’s won a load of headers and he’s tackled in the six-yard box to save a goal.
“Ryan was unlucky not to get on because I was going to bring him on for Ritchie (Humphreys) before the goal went in, so I feel for him a little bit.
“Instead we brought Leon on and his attitude was terrific, as ever.
“That’s what I want, though, I don’t like sulkers and people who suck their thumb, there’s no room for that. As the players themselves said, anybody could have been left out so the guys who were left out will work their socks off to get back in.
“But credit to those who got the shirts for the performance they put in and credit again to the lads who came on because they played a major part.”
The weekend win has eased the fears of another relegation battle with a full week to now regroup ahead of Saturday’s daunting trip to in-form league leaders Brighton – not that Wadsworth holds any trepidation ahead of the South Coast jaunt. Pools beat Brighton 3-1 at Victoria Park in November.