Joe Gamble: We’ll graft to the end for Hartlepool United

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JOE Gamble has defended the professionalism of his Hartlepool United team-mates and declared: “We’re not a bunch of wasters”.

Mick Wadsworth was livid with his men in the aftermath of this month’s 5-2 hiding at Walsall.

The Pools boss accused his under-performing players of being “de-mob happy”, even suggesting they had already “packed their Speedos” with one eye on the end-of-season getaway.

Gamble, though, has hit back, stressing that neither swimming trunks nor sombreros have been bagged ahead of the summer break.

“I would be honest and say we had a bunch of wasters if we did, but we don’t,” said the straight-talking Irishman ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Swindon Town.

“For me, the lads are very good professionals and take a lot of pride in their play.

“We genuinely have a lot of good grafters who look after themselves and who go the next step above training, going to the gym for extra sessions, and eat properly.

“We are really good pros and not the type to chuck it in basically.

“Mick said things in the changing room after Walsall that he was right to say because to lose a two-goal lead like that was an absolute joke. But I don’t think the lads were in holiday mode. We can’t afford to have the Speedos and sombreros on already because we’ve still got a lot to play for this season, not least our livelihoods.”

Gamble’s words will be refreshing for fans who fear Pools’ campaign could slide away to a sorry, lower-table conclusion in League One.

Pools are without Antony Sweeney (ankle), Neil Austin (calf) and James Brown (ankle) for tomorrow’s game.