With Hartlepool United visiting the County Ground this weekend we talk to Vital HUFC editor Poolie Poolie.
All Time Hartlepool United Villian(s):
In the past few years it has to be Martin Scott, he took a side that was 8 minutes away from Championship football and turned us into useless relegation fodder. Him taking us down that season set us back and we’re still paying the price today in some respects.
Twelve matches in for Hartlepool so far with 3 wins, 4 draws and 5 losses. Has the season gone to plan/as expected?
With 12 new signings over the summer some people had great expectations in the summer, I’ve said all along that I’d be happy if we can stay clear of the relegation dogfight all season. However, we’re not playing good football at the minute and attendances have slumped because of this.
Who has been your stand-out player so far this season?
Scott Flinders has been a great signing, after having 2 clowns in goal over the past 2 seasons he’s been a breath of fresh air. He has the ability to pull off great saves, talks to the defence and has been everything we’ve missed for the past 2 years.
Who has failed to meet expectations so far this season?
I think it’s too early to write anyone off, some players, like Flinders, have had a great start while some have struggled to even break into the side, however, there’s still plenty of chances for these players.
Outside of United’s squad which League One players have impressed you thus far?
Out of the teams I’ve seen play in person I think the one that springs to mind is Jo Kuffour of Bristol Rovers, from the bits and pieces of other games I’ve seen I’ve been impressed with Carl Barker at Stockport and Simeon Jackson at Gillingham who has made the step up to League One with ease.
Is Chris Turner still the right man for the job?
I didn’t want him in the first place beyond a short caretaker spell, the jury is still out but he’s not doing the business on the field at the minute and the fans are turning against him. He needs to get his act together fast or it could be a long, hard winter.
Have things improved since Danny Wilson lost his job at Victoria Park?
In some ways I think it has, we’ve made some good signings over the summer, something that Wilson failed to do in his last summer at the club but we’re playing very poor football, I can excuse the odd bad game but one home win in eight this season is shocking.
Adam Boyd left Hartlepool in 2006 onto ‘better things’, joining then Championship outfit Luton Town and then moving to Leyton Orient. How has he settled back in County Durham?
He’s not doing too bad, I’m not a fan of going back but he’s done well despite not being fully fit and being out the side quite a lot in the first few weeks of the season We’re still trying to find our best strike partnership.
So, Swindon on Saturday – Town have had a, shall we say, bad week with the ongoing feud between Kevin Amankwaah and Millwall’s Neil Harris making its way to the F.A. and P.F.A. – Do you think that Hartlepool can capitalise or do you think the Town players will have remained focused throughout this ugly business?
Obviously I have only read what each player has said to the press but it paints nobody in a good light, particularly STFC and Amankwaah. However, I wouldn’t imagine this would affect the game on Saturday.
What team is Chris Turner likely to pick: Who is injured/suspended etc.
Ben Clark is still injured but that’s about it. I’d hope Ritchie Jones returns to the first team in place of Antony Sweeney but he hasn’t been in the team for a few weeks now.
SCORE PREDICTION: Swindon Town vs. Hartlepool United
It depends which Hartlepool show up, if we’re on form I think we could get something. However, if we play like we have in recent weeks then it can only end in defeat.
Many thanks to Poolie Poolie for answering those questions.
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