Hartlepool United must aim high in League Two, says newcomer Alessandra
Four teams go up, so let's be one of them!
That was the cry today from Hartlepool United forward Lewis Alessandra as the League Two big kick-off draws that ever bit closer.
Pools have a tough start with the visit of a side who have just fallen from League One, Colchester United.
But optimism is high at Victoria Park and high is where Pools should be aiming, according to Alessandra.
“I’ve played in League Two and know the division,” said the summer signing from Rochdale.
“Why can’t we be at the top end?
“Four go up and hopefully we can be one of the four.
“The club’s had a couple of tough seasons, but that’s not the case this time.”
Of the four principal summer arrivals, Alessandra has looked as good as anyone.
The others, Toto Nsiala, Nicky Deverdics and Padraig Amond have all arrived from the National League on the back of successful seasons.
Nsiala and Amond both won promotion and visited Wembley twice with Grimsby Town while Deverdics had a good go at going up with Dover Athletic.
Alessandra had a frustrating 2015-16 campaign – he was sent out on loan by Rochdale, only to be relegated from the Football League with York City.
But he’s looked very lively in the pre-season friendlies and bagged a hat-trick at Guisborough Town last Tuesday.
The 27-year-old has settled in nicely into the Craig Hignett style of play and can fit into any of the frontline positions it seems with little fuss.
And the player, with the experience of a decade in League One and League Two football, believes his manager has not only got his squad right but has taken the correct route into the campaign.
“I think the approach of the gaffer has been good,” he explained.
“He didn’t want to cane us like you see happen at some clubs.
“He’s eased us into it and it’s an approach I hope has the desired effect.
“All that matters is that come the first game of the season against Colchester that we are ready for it.
“And on Saturday, hopefully we will.”
Alessandra looks a favourite for a starting role.
Not only has he scored, some of his link up play with forwards and midfielders has been very good.
He is, if selected, excited at the prospect but says not too much store should be placed on match one of 46, whether it’s a positive result or not.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday,” said the former Plymouth frontman.
“Sometimes too much is put on the first match of the season, as though it’s an FA Cup final!
“But I’m hoping we can start well.”