MAN of the moment Andy Monkhouse says Hartlepool United are ready to conquer another of the “so-called big teams” when Huddersfield Town visit Victoria Park in League One tonight.
The rejuvenated Yorkshireman was Pools’ two-goal match-winner at Exeter City on Saturday, a victory which eases Mick Wadsworth’s men 13 points clear of danger.
Four of the next five matches are on home turf with Lee Clark’s automatic-promotion contenders first up this evening.
The Terriers have already been disposed of this season thanks to Leon McSweeney’s Boxing Day strike, at the Galpharm Stadium.
And, with Pools having beaten six of the division’s top eight sides this term, Monkhouse believes another apparent upset is on the cards.
“This is a massive game for us and is a chance to prove we mean business,” the 30-year-old said.
“We got a great result at their place and they will be looking to get one over us. But a so-called big team at The Vic on a Tuesday night is always a good occasion and hopefully we can put on a performance.
“We’ve shown that we can mix it with the bigger teams time and time again. People talk about these clubs as if you can’t beat them and with us it’s always a case of ‘they’ll struggle this season’.
“But look at who we’ve beaten this season.”
Monkhouse looks set to continue in the centre-forward role which yielded his weekend brace against The Grecians, a position the midfielder is more than happy to occupy.
Pools are likely to be unchanged but Wadsworth could revert to a 4-4-2 system having deployed a 3-5-2 formation on Saturday.
James Brown (ankle) and Paul Murray (knee) were missing from the squad which ventured to Devon, but both players are now fit and vying for a return.
H Ritchie Humphreys, meanwhile, will tonight thank the “incredible” Hartlepool fans who have supported him over the past 10 years.
The club legend will show his appreciation for their backing during a record-breaking 473 appearances.
Humphreys scribed his name in the history books on Saturday as he overtook Watty Moore’s 51-year record during the 2-1 victory at Exeter.
That feat was achieved in front of just 65 visiting fans at St. James’ Park, and that is why Humphreys is hoping to see a bumper crowd inside Victoria Park this evening.
“For the supporters who were there on Saturday to see it I’m so thankful,” he said. “I applaud each and every one of them for making the trip down and applauding me off at the end, it was an emotional day.
“Hopefully tonight I can show my appreciation to all of the home supporters who couldn’t make it. Their support over the years has been incredible and I’d love to thank each of them individually.”