Craig Harrison reveals why he gave Hartlepool players time off

Craig Harrison.Craig Harrison.
Craig Harrison.
Craig Harrison hopes his players will be mentally fresh after giving them some extra time off to clear their heads after the stresses and strains of the last few weeks.

Pools host Woking tomorrow in a game that they desperately need to get something out of to give themselves some breathing space at the bottom of the National League.

The team have been without a game the last two weekends – sitting idle after the Leyton Orient fixture was rescheduled due to their FA Trophy commitments, then seeing the match at Barrow last weekend postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

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But with the off-field issues of players not knowing whether the club would be able to pay their wages, and with speculation over some of their futures on transfer deadline day, it has been a tricky period for the squad.

Now, having had some time off, Pools boss Harrison is calling on the first-team players to focus back on the football and getting back to winning ways.

He said: “They had a few days off. I decided with the mood in the camp and how it was after deadline day and a lot said, everyone was mentally tested and I felt a few days off would be good for them to get their heads around things.

“They were told ‘don’t come back here with the same outlook and feeling’. There’s 15 games left to win as many as we can.

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“It’s been a weird feeling not to play, and it’s normally so relentless but we have had two Saturdays of no football.

“Last weekend we had a good feeling about it and we were all disappointed the game was called off.

“What’s gone on off the pitch is old news now, we have to get back on with it. It’s amazing what one win can do and we have three games in a week now to target.”