The Big Three


Three games to win to return us to the Football League. Most fans would have taken that at the start of the season.

A home game against the part-timers of Bromley seems eminently winnable, then a trip to Stockport who we have been above in the league for 90% of the season and then a trip to Ashton Gate, Bristol, in the final where I think Notts County could be our opponents as they are certainly coming into form at the right time and I fancy them to see off Torquay.

Certainly not an impossible task to gain promotion - in fact one which we can achieve if we are on our best form and no more displays like the home game against Maidenhead. Now that was something else and looks to have drawn the curtains on the Pools careers of Timi Odusina and Henrich Ravas who have disappeared completely since that debacle.

As long as Dave Challinor does not come up with any decisions like Pep Guardiola made in the Champions League final against Chelsea with his tinkering and poor team selections, and resists the urge to bring Captain Donaldson back into the team as he showed against Sutton just how far off the pace he is.

The Sutton game was a real shock to the system with just how poor we were and the complete lack of effort and interest. Let us hope we got that out of our system and we can now look forward to winning the next three games and turning a good season into a great one.
"Whether we can bring some of the loanees back on full-time contracts will no doubt depend on which division we are playing in next season."

One worrying factor in the background is Tranmere Rovers' search for a new manager with Dave Challinor and Micky Mellon reported to be the front runners for the job. Challinor joining them, his former club, would be as big a blow as Neale Cooper losing his job just before the 2005 play-off final, and if Challinor were to go before finishing the job here would be unthinkable. It would be a blow if the left us at anytime but if he had got us promotion and decided to move to a club nearer his family home I am sure most supporters would forgive him and wish him well. [Note: Micky Mellon was given the job after this was written.]

Speaking of managers, John Hughes has just left Ross County after keeping them in the Scottish Premiership against all the odds. Now there is a man who has unfinished business at Pools. He was treated shamefully while in charge at Victoria Park to a point where Chief Executive Russ Green refused to speak to him and refused to bring in any players that were required. After Hodcroft got rid of him, Hughes returned to Scotland and showed what a good manager he is and what Pools had missed out on.

With the season rapidly coming to a close there will be big decisions on which players go and who will stay. Loan signings such as Sterry, Cass, Armstrong, Saunders, Elliott, Ravas will be returning to their parent clubs. Players likely to be released are McDonald, Ofosu, Bloomfield, Crawford, Killip, Odusina, Cunningham and maybe a few youngsters who are not going to make the grade.

Whether we can bring some of the loanees back on full-time contracts will no doubt depend on which division we are playing in next season. Please make it League Two!

Come on you Pools!!!!

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