John Hewitson has challenged his Youth Team players to rise to the challenge of playing in the prestigious FA Youth Cup at The Vic tonight (7pm kick-off).Pools begin their campaign when they host Fleetwood Town on home soil this evening and Hewitson says that the result is more important than the performance.
"Playing in the FA Youth Cup is one of the pinnacles for any young player," he explained.
"We all know about the rewards that are there if we can have a little run in the competition but the experience will be crucial for the lads as well.
"We have to aim big; if they do what is being asked of them they are capable of winning the game and then we can go on from there and see how far we get.
"These games are different to the league fixtures - often it's about development and you encourage them to play more football, take risks, try different things. Tonight is all about winning.
"This is a knockout competition and we want to be involved in it as long as possible - so gaining credit for a good performance counts for nothing, winning is what matters."
Despite some inconsistent form in the campaign so far, Hewitson says that there is a strong belief among his squad and has backed them for victory tonight.
"I know they can get the result we want this evening," he told us.
"Even though we've not picked up the results we want in the league so far, I think the confidence in the camp over the last few days is as high as it's ever been.
"The lads are excited, I'm sure there a few nerves there too but they are looking forward to the game - we've prepared well and now we want to see that come to fruition tonight."
Rhys Harbottle, Ben Wignall (both virus), Josh Nearney, Brad Walker (both ankle) and Dan Jones (hip) are all back in contention, but Andy Bridges (virus) and Jonny Wright (hernia) are both ruled out.
Prices for the game are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions with all fans seated in the Cyril Knowles Stand.
See a full report from the game here on the Official Website later tonight.