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WARD'S HARTLEPOOL THOUGHTS

13 March 2014

Manager's press briefing ahead of Saturday's game


Manager John Ward reported that there were no new injury worries for his side of Saturday’s game at Hartlepool and added that he expected a tough test for his side.

Hartlepool are currently six points and four places better off than Rovers and on Tuesday, while Rovers were going down 1-2 against Dagenham & Redbridge they were involved in a goalless draw at Accrington.

“The boys are fine”, he said, adding; “we’ve bounced back from disappointments before and we had gone six games undefeated before Tuesday. It’s always disappointing when runs like that come to an end, but 
we have to pick ourselves up very quickly because after our trip to the north east we face Southend at home next Friday night.

“I think Saturday’s game is a good test for us, as we will be facing a side that has done well and has a number of good players. Don’t forget, though, that our last two away performances have been particularly strong and our attitude has been good. “There’s no doubt we will have to replicate out performances at Scunthorpe and Northampton. Our reports suggest that Hartlepool start games very quickly and if we can 
look after that and are in a strong position 20 minutes in, we will see if we can take it on.

“We are aware that picking up points from our trip to Victoria Park won’t be easy, but we can take heart from our results at Scunthorpe and Northampton, where we picked up points and played quite well in the process.”

The manager, whose side train en route to the north east tomorrow, has a number of options open to him now that he has an almost fully fit squad to choose from.

“The bench is pretty strong as well, and we used it as best we could on Tuesday.  “There are people raring to go, which is good news, and that may put the starting eleven on edge a little bit, but that’s no bad thing.”

The distance his side has to travel for this fixture isn’t seen as a problem.

I don’t see the travel as a problem it’s what we do and the “We are all used to travelling long distances; we simply make sure that all the arrangements are in place and get on with things.

“The fact that we will be training at a different venue also helps, as does the fact that there is nothing to do but concentrate on the game for a couple of days

“Whatever your last result little trips such as this are good for us and preparations have been made so that, hopefully, the players put in a good performance.”

Tuesday night’s defeat won’t, he insisted, linger long in the memory.

“We have to be careful not to find too much fault with our own team simply because we have lost a game. We probably had twice as many shots as Dagenham on Tuesday, but weren’t as clinical in front of goal as they were 

“I would rather be looking at a statistic like that rather than seeing we only had a couple of shots and didn’t deserve to take anything from the game.

“We don’t spend hours looking at victories and, by the same token, we don’t spend hours looking at defeats. There’s a bigger picture than that and this group of players are very good and want to do well.” 


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