Craig Harrison praised the belief and character of his side as they came from behind with ten men to earn a well-deserved point at Gateshead on Boxing Day.
The Pools boss was dealt a double blow before kick-off when Nicky Featherstone and Conor Newton were both injured in the warm-up and he then saw Blair Adams harshly sent-off before half time.
Liam Donnelly had put Harrison’s men a goal up from the penalty spot but the hosts used their man advantage to score either side of half time before Michael Woods netted to secure Pools a share of the spoils.
“I thought we started the game very well; we were on the front foot, we were aggressive and we showed the battling qualities that we have been asking for,” Harrison told Pools PlayerHD.
“We shuffled things around at half-time and changed it tactically but it was important that we told the lads that even if they scored we had to stick to our plan because we were always going to get opportunities from our counter-attacking and set-pieces.
“It was a double-whammy just before half-time to concede the goal and obviously the sending-off and to then be 2-1 down so quickly in the second half, the pleasing thing was the belief of the players and sticking to that plan.
“We almost let their centre-backs have the ball because we wanted to counter-attack in wide areas and that worked for us because we scored a really good goal from it.
“The backing we had from the fans was huge – they were our 11th man today and when you have that behind you it’s got to help. As a player you love support like that and they were influential today, particularly in the last five minutes.
“It was a good derby game for the neutral. We wanted to come here and win but the way circumstances went against us in the first half it’s pleasing that we have got the point we deserved.”