So Far So Good


After a stumble early doors we have now hit the form we were hoping for before the start of the season. Eighth place in early September must go down as a good start and a crack at the league leaders to come on Saturday night is just what we need.

With our past custom of letting the fans down on the big occasion let's this time give them and the viewing TV-watching public a display to be proud of and show the rest of the league that this season we are really meaning business.

The disappointing first few games with some goalkeeping howlers were a worry but the young keeper with a loan signing brought in to gee him up seems to have put those errors behind him and is beginning to look the part in goal. I certainly wish him well as he looks dedicated to the cause and so keen for Pools to do well. But the big turnaround in the team was getting a real midfield playing together after the years of pass sideways, pass backwards and don't cross the halfway line.

Craig Hignett had finally seen enough of it and relegated his favourite midfield dynamo, the overweight little guy to the bench. About time too, Craig, most fans have been crying out for this for the last five years. And what do we get, Liam Noble back in the side alongside Jason Kennedy and Gus Mafuta, a midfield we have been needing for years. And a 100 per cent improvement on what we have been used to seeing. And a back five who look much more solid and reliable.

It was good to hear the Torquay supporters saying we bullied them out of it. Nice to see us with a big team physically and we are not afraid to put it about a bit when, under the years of Colin Cooper and Matthew Bates, we were the softest touch in all the leagues. How these guys could manage a professional team and have them playing like a bunch of Dorises I will never know. You would have thought they wanted them team to play with a bit of fire and desire but looking back to their playing careers they were hardly men up for a battle. More of a 'After you, Claude' attitude which begs the question, "How the hell did they get a manager's job in the first place?" It's passionate managers like Chris Wilder and Sean Dyche who go for committed strong players that are successful in their careers unlike some shrinking violets we have had in charge.
"Ryan Donaldson did an excellent job up front against Barrow and some say up front is his best position."

It is good to see Gime Toure topping the goalscoring charts; it is a long time since a Pools player did that. It is unfortunate our two strikers Nicke Kabamba and Niko Muir are both out injured as their extra firepower would be most welcome at the present time. Having said that, Ryan Donaldson did an excellent job up front against Barrow and some say up front is his best position. Him being so versatile is a good thing as he can help out in a number of positions.

Two players who have been a big disappointment this season are Luke James and Josh Hawkes. James is a striker who doesn't look like scoring a goal while Hawkes doesn't seem to be able to get fit. I would send these two out on loan and see if they come back in any better form.

Two players we can look forward to returning from injury are Luke Molyneux and Luke Williams. Now that Molyneux has finally had an operation we can look forward to having him back in three months. No timetable for Williams's return yet but I am prepared to wait and give him all the time he needs to get fully fit, not like some of the moaners who are shouting to get rid of him. Make no mistake a fully fit Williams will terrify the National League defenders. They won't be able to cope with him.

I would just like to wish Jeff Stelling all the best on his latest charity effort and all he does for promoting Pools and keeping us in the public eye.

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