Goalless Hartlepool United are beaten again

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JOHN Hughes admits he will need to change the “culture” of Hartlepool United if he is to achieve anything at the club.

The Scot watched yesterday as his side failed to score for an eighth consecutive match, going down to a 1-0 defeat at Stevenage.

The result leaves Pools eight points from safety with just four matches remaining in League One, and Hughes concedes survival is unlikely.

And the 48-year-old is concerned by the mindset of a dressing room which has now gone 12 hours without finding the back of the net.

“It’s the story of our season,” he said. “Is it an acceptance? We play well and get plaudits for that but then concede and fail to score.

“Is that the mindset that is at this club right now?

“We’ll have to change the culture of the club if that is the case.”

Whether or not Hughes attempts to implement his culture change with this set of players remains to be seen.

Several are out of contract this summer and the manager has already requested a meeting with chief executive Russ Green and chairman Ken Hodcroft in a bid to draw up plans for the close-season.

However, when asked if he could change the mental approach of the current squad, Hughes came back: “I have to change the culture with the players who are here.

“It’s my job to educate them and make them better footballers.”

In failing to score, Pools extended their barren patch to 12 hours in front of goal and were beaten when Max Ehmer capitalised upon some defensive indecision to fire home on 76 minutes.

Substitute Luke James came closest to a goal for the visitors within seconds of his arrival, smashing inches wide with the game still goalless.