MICK Wadsworth refused to get drawn into the controversy surrounding Huddersfield Town’s winning goal during last night’s 1-0 League One defeat – instead praising his players for their fighting spirit.
Referee David Coote appeared to blow his whistle just seconds before Anthony Pilkington blasted the game’s only goal on 11 minutes, Scott Arfield having raised a boot when challenging with Steve Haslam.
All of the half-time talk inside Victoria Park was of the official’s apparent indecision in the build up to that decisive strike.
But a relaxed Wadsworth said after the game that, while there was definite confusion surrounding the goal, he was nonetheless in no mood to blame the man in black.
“It was a difficult one to analyse because it was a bit stop-start and then all of a sudden it was in the back of the net,” he said.
“Certainly, though, the way things happened it would tally with there being some reason to stop because it was strange how the goal came about.
“But we lost, it’s gone now, it’s not going to change anything and we move on.”
The reason for Wadsworth’s laidback reflection lies within a spirited second-half display which could, and perhaps should, have yielded a leveller during a 15-minute spell of pressure which threw up three clear-cut openings.
And the Pools chief added: “Once we got in to our stride in the second half I thought it was a very spirited performance – we created some good opportunities and on another day we’d have seen the back of the net ripple.
“It was nip and tuck all through the game and we could quite easily have come out with a point – I felt we deserved that and I think our fans did too.
“But I can lose a game because the way we lost we went down fighting and a point would have been deserved.
“I said to the players ‘we’ve lost but I’m not unhappy with you’.
“Early season this could have been a real howler for us so in that sense we’ve grown up a lot.”
H Wadsworth is unlikely to enter into the loan transfer market before it closes on March 15. “I wouldn’t think we’ll be doing any business,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pools will give 45 minutes to striker Adam Boyd when their reserves take on Middlesbrough at Billingham Synthonia this afternoon.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Collins, Horwood, Haslam, Hartley, Liddle, McSweeney, Monkhouse, Sweeney, Murray (Larkin 69), Donaldson (Brown 78). Subs: Rafferty, Humphreys, Gamble, Yantorno, Boyd, Brown, Larkin.
Huddersfield: Bennett, Peltier, P Clarke, Jordan, Gudjonsson, Roberts, Kay, Pilkington, Arfield, Kilbane, Novak (Afobe 90). Subs: Smithies, McCombe, Hunt, Atkinson, Rhodes, Lee, Afobe.
Ref: Mr. Coote. Att: 2,857