Reasons to Be Cheerful ...Well, Maybe


DARREN KNOWLES' TASH





Well, the season is officially underway now and what a start we have experienced from Pools. I said my in last column that the team needed to hit the ground running and they did exactly that. Before Saturday we had played five league games and conceded just a meagre three goals which was at the time the joint second best record in the league.

Tests away from home against Chesterfield and Maidenhead were dealt with, and on both occasions the new-look Pools squad came away from the fixture with all three points. To do that is impressive. Added to that, the team had a potential banana skin of an FA Cup fourth qualifying round against Ilkeston to deal with, and comprehensively saw to that. In previous campaigns this could have been oh so different. We've had too many false dawns to last us a lifetime - never mind a season. 

That said, DC is striving for perfection and from some post-game interviews, thinks we could have done this and that better. This is the sign of a manager who reckons we have yet to have reached our full potential. If this is the case, then it makes you wonder what we will be like once we really hit top gear. Saturday though on BT Sport proved to be a bit of Hallowe'en horror as the team crumbled to their worst result of the season to leaders Torquay United when a win could have taken them back into second. I'm sure that the Gulls' number one fan, a certain Helen Chamberlain, is probably winding up Jeff as we speak.

The interesting thing is: how do you respond to something as humbling as this result? It becomes a test of mental strength and attitude, and whilst DC won't be best pleased at the 0-5 loss, it will be his job to repair the emotional damage and scarring caused by a heavy defeat ahead of playing Salford in the FA Cup on Saturday. Some players will respond positively, some will emotionally hurt badly. DC needs to get their confidence back on the horse and not let one result change the dynamic of the season after such an impressive beginning.
"We've had too many false dawns to last us a lifetime - never mind a season."

I said in my previous column though, that I feel the depth of the squad is a wee bit on the thin side. Chuck in a few injuries and we could see the good start evaporate quicker than you can imagine. Ideally the squad should have enough cover in every position possible, I would have at least five or six centre halves on my watch but that's just me. We do have a plethora of midfielders but not enough in the centre of defence now it appears that Timi Odusina has joined Gary Liddle on Buster's treatment table. Perhaps this might result in a recall for Aaron Cunningham from his loan spell at Blyth, and hope that either Liddle or Odusina will be fit enough to partner him. Should neither look like making it, will this see further movement in the transfer market by the Club for a permanent or temporary signing? One can but wait and see.

Now for my look on how the former Poolies are performing at Cork City, that being Scott Fenwick and Connor Simpson. As this goes to press, things aren't going well for City as they have been relegated to to the FA of Ireland's First Division next season which has resulted in former Spurs striker Neale Fenn being replaced by ex-Sunderland midfielder Colin Healy on an interim basis to close the season out. Added to this neither Simpson nor Fenwick have made an impression and I'm half expecting one; if not both; to leave Turner's Cross come the end of the season and seek new employers again.

Would I have them back in the blue and white? No, those ships have certainly sailed and in a majority of cases; second spells aren't usually as good as first time around. Remember the hype that came with the supposed second coming of Stevie Howard? We all know how that turned out; an absolute disaster. Re-signing them would be a backward step as far as I am concerned. Don't do it Pools!

Every game is like a Cup Final, amd there's going to be some bumps in the road for sure, we just have to keep the faith even though we aren't yet inside the Vic to will them on. It's what we do as Poolies, right? 

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