Best yet from Hartlepool United, says Hughes

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HARTLEPOOL boss John Hughes was delighted with last night’s latest League One win over Crewe Alexandra.

It was a result which is sure to put the Pools boss at the forefront of the running for February’s manager-of-the-month prize – not that he’s interested in such recognition.

Instead, Hughes has lauded the efforts of his players as they extended the club’s unbeaten run to seven matches thanks to goals from Charlie Wyke, Jonathan Franks and Andy Monkhouse.

“That is fundamentally the best we’ve played,” the Scot said as he reflected on the sixth victory of his reign.

“It’s all positives right across the park. You get all of these boys together on the top of their game and I tell you, they’re not a bad team.

“Manager of the month? It’s immaterial – it’s nothing to do with me. If you’re giving any award out then it should go into that dressing-room for them players.

“Every one of them to a man has taken on board what we’re trying to do. I’m just helping them along, they deserve all of the credit.”

The joy of the victory over The Railwaymen was tempered slightly by results elsewhere, with the three teams directly above second-bottom Pools – Bury, Colchester United and Scunthorpe United – all winning.

Hughes, though, still insists his side can only keep their own house in order.

“The other results don’t interest me,” he said, with Pools now within six points of safety.

“I know it’s an old cliche but we can only look after ourselves. All we can do is give ourselves a chance and we’re doing that.”

Pools took the lead on 27 minutes when Jonathan Franks’ cross was headed by Jack Baldwin and Charlie Wyke nodded home from just two yards out.

The home side were deservedly two up before thwe break when James Poole sought to locate the front-running Franks and, while the pass was intercepted by Mark Ellis, the Pools man out-muscled his opponent before digging out a shot from 20 yards which found the bottom corner.

Wyke came within a fingertip of heading a second after the break when glancing a Franks cross towards the bottom corner, Crewe keeper Steve Phillips leaping to claw around the upright.

When Crewe failed to clear from the resulting corner Horwood smashed on goal but the keeper was again equal to it.

Franks was enjoying an inspired evening and was inches from netting a goal-of-the-season contender when pinging wide of the top corner from 25 yards.

But Monkhouse made sure of the points in stoppage-time when he smashed home in uncompromising fashion after Phillips had saved from Wyke.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Horwood, Collins, Hartley, Austin, Humphreys, Baldwin, Walton (Monkhouse 28), Franks, Wyke, Poole (Luscombe 82). Subs Not Used: McHugh, Rutherford, Holden, James, Howard. Booked: Poole. Goals: Wyke 27, Franks 40, Monkhouse 90.

Crewe: Phillips, Mellor, Ellis, Dugdale, Robertson, Inman (Pogba 50), Murphy, Osman, Moore, Leitch-Smith (Colclough 80), Aneke (Max Clayton 72). Subs Not Used: Martin, Tootle, Davis, Turton.

Att: 3, 509 Ref: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).