Woods tells Pools to get ruthless in front of goal

Hartlepool United need to become more ruthless in the final third '“ that's the conclusion of midfielder Michael Woods.

Monday, 16th January 2017, 7:30 am
Hartlepool United's Michael Woods (left) tussles with Crawley's Josh Payne on Saturday. Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com

Pools yet again drew a blank in defeat to Crawley Town on Saturday, a result which saw manager Craig Hignett depart.

It comes just seven days after Woods and Co also failed to register in a home loss to Grimsby Town.

Having been one of the most attractive, free-scoring sides in the fourth tier, Pools have failed to score in seven of their last nine games.

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And Woods says it is down to a loss of confidence in the final third.

Although, he accepts it is something that needs to change if Pools are to avoid yet another League Two relegation battle.

“I feel like a parrot at the minute,” said the 26-year-old.

“It is the same story week after week – we knock it about OK then where the game is won and lost in both boxes we let ourselves down.

“We just don’t create enough chances and give other teams one or two decent ones a week.

“There is no one department that is not performing, it is the team as a whole.

“We need to be more ruthless.

“It is OK knocking the ball around but you have to have some end product.

“When you come away and it’s tight you can’t afford a lapse. We’re letting ourselves down.”

Possession can only get any team so far, according to the Yorkshireman.

It is goals at both ends that matter the most.

“It has dried up for us in front of goal,” he said.

“We have got to dig in, especially when things are tight.

“It is all very frustrating. We know that in between the boxes we are good. But what does that achieve?

“If games were won on possession we would be top of the league.

“It isn’t though. And we are not.”

James Collins’ strike midway through the second half was enough to seperate the sides, much like Adi Yussuf’s was seven days previous against Grimsby.

It is an all too familiar tale for Woods.

And he thinks it is time a few of the players in the Pools squad heard a few home truths.

Reflecting on the result, he said: “They got the goal and we couldn’t break them down.

“We didn’t get in their box and create chances.

“We haven’t got in there – it is simply not good enough.

“It is about time we stand up – players get cuddled too much.

“We are sick of looking over our shoulders and relying on other people.

“We need to step up and take responsibility.

“For all of the possession we need to be more ruthless.”