The Great Escape - Dare We Hope?


Prior to, and just after Ronnie Moore’s appointment, all the talk was of getting ready to play in the Conference next season. Now, after a month into his appointment, all the talk is of The Great Escape. 

Home victories against Cheltenham (who we helped bring into the lower reaches) and Plymouth (who are within spitting distance of a play off place) certainly bred an air of confidence. And let’s not forget the very creditable away draw against Tranmere.

Can we do it? Yes, we can, providing we can stay clear of injuries and suspensions and the substitute's bench can provide reasonable back up when called upon. Everything seems to be going right.

We have much more certainty in defence with Scott Harrison and Dan Jones, and then, of course, there’s Scott Fenwick. Scoring goals is all about being in the right place at the right time and Scott Fenwick certainly has that attribute. If Pools do escape relegation to the Conference, let’s tell Peterborough to get lost - we’ll hang on to Scott Fenwick.

Looking at the message boards, a lot of the chat has been about Jonathan Franks. His two goals against Plymouth certainly silenced the doubters, and let’s hope that he starts to ooze with confidence. I have always used the term ‘frustrating’ when assessing Franks. He fights like hell to both win and keep the ball, "If Pools do escape relegation to the Conference, let’s tell Peterborough to get lost - we’ll hang on to Scott Fenwick. "yet his final delivery has always been found wanting. Still, if he continues to score the goals no one will be complaining.

Looking at the League 2 table, there’s a number of clubs who could be brought into the mire and it's up to Pools to put a run together rather than relying on other clubs dropping points. I suppose our problems go back to the beginning of last season when we appointed a manager who, whilst an honourable man, probably lacked the necessary contacts when things started to go wrong. Ronnie Moore obviously has the necessary contacts and I’ve never known a manager come in with so much good will.

While our improved performances have caught the eye, all the talk has been about Pools’ ownership and whether the new owners pass the credibility test. Who owns the club - is it TMH or are we still owned by IOR? All this does is create uncertainty and really the club should have been a bit more forthcoming about what is (or what is not happening). Still, the performances in January help take the mind off such matters. It now looks as though there’s cause for optimism - don’t let us down, Pools!

One thing I did miss against Cheltenham was the final minute punch-up involving Uncle Tom Cobley and all. There were, of course, four added minutes and when I’d estimated these were up I turned to pick up a carrier bag of shopping and heard three blasts on the referee’s whistle. Thinking the game was over, I looked towards the pitch and, stone the crows, there’s all hell let loose. I would suspect that being almost the end of the game, the referee decided that yellow cards were sufficient. Having sorted out the fracas, the referee then decided to apply Law 19 and call a halt. All ended well - at least Pools and Cheltenham weren’t charged by the FA of failing to keep the players under control.

Bradford City’s FA Cup victory against Chelsea certainly created excitement. One would have thought, however, that this performance would have merited a live slot on the BBC come the fifth round and, with it, a big payment. But, no, the BBC have opted for Aston Villa v Leicester City and Manchester United’s potential tie. Don’t those greedy bastards get enough from their paymasters at Sky and BT without getting more from the TV licence payer. By showing Aston Villa, you’re bound to get thrilling stuff. Did you know, for example, that Aston Villa have scored less goals this season than Pools? As at 31st January, Pools had scored 22 goals, whereas Aston Villa had only scored 11. It got so bad at Villa, that their ‘Goal of the Month’ for October had to be cancelled. Why? Because they hadn’t scored a goal!