Black Friday?

BILLY'S CONTRACT on Oxford and Salford

Saturday's game against Oxford, although ending in defeat, was, particularly in the first half, our best all season.  Both teams came out of the traps and went full pelt at each other in an entertaining end to end game. It was an excellent performance,by Pools, who were not intimidated by Oxford's league position, and matched them in all departments until the departure of Carl Magnay. It was good to see Pools playing with pace, and in particular keeping the ball on the deck in challenging weather conditions.

My mate asked me if Ronnie Moore had being sacked, as this style of play bore no resemblance to what we have been served up all season. Long may it continue. Even allowing for one of the bottom sides hitting a run of form, if Pools continue to play like this I don't think we should fear the drop.

My only criticism of Saturday's performance was that with one exception I cannot recall their keeper having to make a worthwhile save, and it would appear that our forwards would rather pass the ball to a colleague than take a pop at goal.

I think that Jake Carroll needs to be rested as it is just not happening for him, especially as he is starting to get some stick from the stands. To me he is more of a wing back than a full back and his defending is suspect, particularly when Kudus, who offers his full back little or no defensive cover, is in front of him.

Rhys Oates recently benefitted from a spell on the bench and could also further benefit from a spell in the gym as he frequently gets knocked off the ball too easily. Can't fault the lad for effort and again I would like to see him at some stage play in his natural position of centre forward.

Scott Fenwick I feel should be given a run in the side in his natural position as centre forward and I am sure goals will come his and our way. His name should be the first on the team sheet against Salford as this is his sort of battleground, with Bingham playing alongside him. The chances are that Sunderland won't want him cup tied but I don't think that the Salford game would be Mikael Mandron's cup of tea (watch him bang in a hat trick!) so this would be Scott Fenwick's opportunity to make a claim for the number 9 shirt ...or in his case the number 17 shirt!
"My mate asked me if Ronnie Moore had being sacked, as this style of play bore no resemblance to what we have been served up all season"

Despite the majority of the neutrals rooting for Salford City, as well as the Beeb, who probably will have installed Sir Alex Ferguson in Salford's dressing room giving the team talk in the fashion that Alan Shearer did for Blyth against 'Pools last season. I must admit to being quietly confident of the result going our way, providing that we do not sit back and that we play in the manner that we did against Oxford United. I am predicting a two nil win for Pools. Watch that come back and haunt me as I read Monkey Business on Saturday night!

I can already see the headline in the Mail; Poole's Black Friday for 'Pool! The BBC will no doubt be hoping for the following scenario: a Salford City win with a last minute goal from James Poole and their getting a third round draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

I have heard on the QT that we might be drawing some support closer to home from an unexpected quarter. A certain group of fans who hate Hartlepool United and hail from South West Durham and whose team play in black and white stockings are hoping that Pools get a draw with Salford and then take them into an extra time penalty shoot out at the Vic, which will in turn impact on Salford's prospects of winning the Evo Stik Northern Premier League and thus enhance their own. Out of courtesy I won't mention the team in question, to  which those supporters align themselves, but their team does not play in the town of Darlington. Hope I have not given too much away as to who they are.