MICK Wadsworth will call on his Hartlepool players to stop the rot at Bristol Rovers tonight.
The Pools boss collected a well-deserved manager-of-the-month award for December prior to Saturday’s defeat against Dagenham and Redbridge – recognition of a month which included three of five straight victories.
We have been on a great run and have been very confident – but confidence can evaporate just as easily with a few bad results.
“Every team suffers a couple of defeats at some point, it’s about how you react to that that count
“We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen because we’re still in a terrific position.”
and well placed to achieve great things this season.
The mood in the Pools camp was buoyant over the festive period and talk of a promotion charge appeared anything but fanciful.
But things can change quickly given the erratic nature of League One and successive defeats – the latest against the bottom-placed Daggers – has seen Pools slip back into mid-table.
Dave Penney’s Pirates lie in wait at the Memorial Stadium tonight, and Wadsworth says he is expecting a reaction from his players.
“We’ve had a fantastic away record of late and we always believe we can get a result away from home no matter who we’re playing,” he said.
s and I’ve got every faith in the lads.
“They have been excellent to work with and have already shown that they’re able to bounce back from a bad spell like they did earlier this season.”
Rovers are now under the charge of former Darlington manager Penney after a run of one league win since the start of October saw Paul Trollope relieved of his duties last month.
And Wadsworth is wary of the galvanising effect a new boss can have on a club – especially with Peterborough United and re-installed manager Darren Ferguson next up on Saturday.
“We’re facing two clubs in transition with new managers in place who will be keen to get some momentum,” he added. “That can sometimes lift a team, especially when they’ve been struggling.”
Penney’s men, however, were hammered 4-0 at Carlisle United at the weekend and are currently two places from the foot of the table.
Tonight’s game is one of only three League One fixtures being played, and victory could potentially fire Pools as high as eighth.
Wadsworth could be without skipper Sam Collins (knee) and vice-captain Neil Austin (calf), with Steve Haslam and Armann Bjornsson ready to deputise.
Bjornsson filled in at centre-back on Saturday but one other option which Wadsworth could explore is reverting Gary Liddle to the defence with Joe Gamble coming into the midfield.
Former Pools loanee Danny Coles is suspended for Rovers having been sent off at Carlisle.