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From The Hart: We Fear Nobody Now

28 February 2013

Skipper Peter Hartley gives us his views on Pools' brilliant form, positivity in the camp and his hopes for the Doncaster game.

Hello and welcome to my latest Blog here on the Official Website. 

A lot has happened since my last Blog and I would say that the win over Crewe Alexandra was the most satisfying of this good little run we've put together. 

I think that in recent weeks the defence have been getting quite a lot of credit for the way we've been playing but I was delighted to see the likes of Franksy, Chaz and Pooley getting their rewards for the work they've put in. 

The defence do get the plaudits if we keep a clean sheet but the whole team have been working so hard and it starts with those lads up front so it's brilliant that things have come together like they have at the moment. 

I think the fans have appreciated what has been happening on the pitch and the fact we've become fearless. I remember when I was a Season Ticket holder at The Vic no team would fancy coming to Hartlepool and the more we play like we are at home then we'll slowly start to get that back. 

We're not afraid of anyone in this division at the moment - let's be honest, there isn't a Barcelona in League One so we're showing that fearlessness in our performances and it's pleasing that it's helping us rebuild the bond with supporters. 

I feel like we're on a real roll now and we've got lots of games coming up to look forward to - it's play, recover, play, recover at the moment which is fine with us because of the confidence we have in the camp right now. 

The Manager said us to after the game on Tuesday that he was pleased with us because what is winning us games is coming from within - he's told us that we have that raw energy, commitment and desire, everything else we can work on. I don't have to say too much because I feel like we're proving it in our performances at the moment and hopefully we can do the same at Doncaster. 

I know they are top of the league and they are there for a reason, but I couldn't care less about that really. We feel like we can turn any team in this league over at the minute the way we are playing. We'll go there and play our way in to the game, be concentrated and ensure we don't give them anything early on or make any rash decisions and try to play the way we have been. 

I can say we won't be going there to put eleven men behind the ball and play for a point - we want to go there and win; we're full of belief and we are sure we can go there and get the three points if we maintain the standards we have in recent weeks. 

We had 19 games left when we had a really positive team meeting and since then we've gone seven unbeaten. We're working hard in training, identifying weaknesses in the opposition, putting work in to our set-plays and focusing on the positivity that is around the place. 

We're working with no negatives in the camp and that comes from the Club, the fans and the players themselves - if we can keep that attitude going then we're going to be able to make Victoria Park a fortress once again. 

In my last Blog I mentioned that I was ruling the roost in terms of the table tennis - but since then I've been well and truly knocked off my perch! Andy Rafferty has found his hands and his eyes and is destroying anyone that gets in his way! 

To be fair to Raff, he's been out injured all season so he's had plenty of time to get good at it but he's still been very impressive - but then the bat looks like a CD in those massive hands so he's go an advantage! 

Anyway, I'll end there but before I go I'll answer some of the questions you've sent in for me. If you want to send a question for my next Blog then email with the subject 'Ask Pete'. 

What has been the best feeling for Pools this season? 
@LiamWright via Twitter 

I think it's got to be when we scored the winner against Orient. After getting a couple of wins and decent results it would have been another kick in the teeth to have lost that game. To be 1-0 down so late and go on and win 2-1 shows the fight we have right now and I think it was there to be seen on Tuesday against Crewe as well. 

What's more satisfying to you, scoring a goal or keeping a clean sheet? 
@monkeyhangerGK via Twitter 

Both! If I could score a goal and we win 1-0 that would be the perfect scenario wouldn't it? I would have to say though it's probably a clean sheet that pleases me most - I'll leave the goalscoring to the attackers and just concentrate on what Sam and I have to do to help Scotty keep the ball out of our net. 

What's the next step for you now you've captained your hometown? 
@mattygoldie via Twitter 

We'll I always try to have short-term and long-term goals. At the moment the short-term goal is to try and remain unbeaten for the rest of this season and obviously keep us in League One. Over the longer term I want to play in the Championship with Hartlepool United - the Club has never been there before so if I can be captain when they do it that would be a dream come true. Why the dramatic change in form? 

What's changed and why did it not happen sooner? 
Les Stoddart via Facebook 

Well, a lot of people had been coming away from games earlier in the season saying "not another penalty against us" or "when will be get the rub of the green?" About six weeks ago we had a big team meeting and the Manager told us we needed to knock that all on the head. He said that if we're going to do something, let's just go and do it. We can't fear anything or anyone so we'll give it everything we have and if it's not good enough then we'll hold our hands up. We've confronted that and I think we've recognised what's at risk and what's on the line now. We're basically in a situation where we need to win or we'll go down and now we seem to have found a way to win games so long may it continue.

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