Harold Wilson is credited with saying "A week is a long time in politics". If that is the case then a month must be a lifetime in football and in particular to Hartlepool United.

At the time of typing this I reckon that only God and Stephen Hawking know how the club is still in existence, particularly with all the black holes the club's finances seemed to have disappeared into. To date the club has not been sold but discussions are ongoing and ongoing as well as ongoing*, making the Brexit negotiations look like a piece of cake ...or a morceau de g√Ęteau for the benefit of our French readers.

Prior to the Guiseley game on the field of play we saw a transformed, nay, resurrected Pools win three matches on the bounce in addition to drawing two, which suggests that we are at long last making headway out of the woods. And talking of Woods, it has got to to be said that Michael Woods' goals have been a major factor in making Pools the in-form team of the moment. Noticeably his best form and goals scored tend to be away from the Vic.

It is a great shame that had Pools not had this rich vein of form at the beginning of the season, and allowing for the odd hiccup along the way, perhaps, not unlike Manchester City, we could have had the league title tucked away in the previously-unused trophy cabinet at the Vic well before Easter. Ever the optimist!

"I reckon that only God and Stephen Hawking know how the club is still in existence"

In addition to positive results, the style of football implemented under Matthew Bates has changed for the better. There seems to be more tempo and spirit as well as the all important 'fight' within the squad that has previously been sadly lacking. The players have been given more freedom to express themselves, more so the front runners. The midfielders, with one glaring exception, are now moving in a more forward manner rather than in a sideways direction allowing the likes of Woods and Newton scoring opportunities.

Another positive, whether it is a confidence thing or because of the introduction of a new manager, is that a goodly number of players have seemed to turn over a new leaf and come out of their shells. It is as if they are trying to show the Poolie faithful that they are not the muffins that we all believed they were. Blair Adams,  Rodders, Louis Laing** and Conor Newton have had some outstanding games of late. One wonders how Craig Harrison got it so badly wrong with this same squad of players.

Despite Pools' perilous league placing it is a credit to Matthew Bates that he is not afraid to give youth a chance and has in turn handed debuts to Jacob Owen and Josh Hawkes, the latter of whom paid him back handsomely with a cracking goal against Bromley as well as several outstanding displays in midfield which belied his years.

To cap all this off, not only have we had the added bonus of seeing Pools play a more entertaining brand of football which is actually enjoyable to watch*** but Pools have also added some steel to their game that is something they have sadly been lacking. More of the same please.

* This was written before the game against Guiseley
** This was written before the game against Guiseley
*** This was written before the game against Guiseley