The Pools legend gives us take on things from the Club.
They say a week is a long time in football and we certainly proved that recently with two excellent wins on home soil, which gave everyone in and around the Football Club a big lift.
Obviously the chance to win two home games in four or five days was massive and we knew we were coming up against two footballing teams in Crewe Alexandra and Exeter City. Everyone says that if we want to be successful or, as it is at the moment, get away from trouble, then we have to make The Vic a fortress and the manner of those two victories was very impressive.
I think everyone is honest enough to say that we were probably second best in the first half of both games; we were lucky to be in front at half time against Crewe and we were a goal down against Exeter after a slow start to the game.
However, the way we finished both games showed real character. They weren’t two flukey wins or anything like that – we steam-rollered them both during the second half of the games and scored some terrific goals.
Perhaps we had shown the two opponents too much respect in the opening period of the game but whatever it was, they certainly turned it around after the break and it was brilliant to see the crowd having something to really cheer in the second half of both fixtures.
I have to say that, looking at the league table, if you took those six points away then we really would be in the mire so it was a crucial couple of wins for us and now we have to build on it now.
Dave Jones is trying to change the culture of everyone at the Club and sometimes to takes a little bit of time to get those ideas and methods across. However, the last two performance shows that he seems to be having an impact so long may that continue.
You can’t underestimate what a big role confidence plays in football. I remember back in 1992 when we went through that long and infamous period without a goal, the pressure seemed to get worse and worse with every passing week. The longer it went the more in to a rut we fell and it was such a relief when Andy Saville scored that goal at Blackpool and instantly there was weight off our shoulders – and we could go again.
We certainly aren’t out of the woods though; with Leyton Orient and Notts County winning but I am certainly much more enthusiastic about the remainder of the season after seeing how we played in those last two games.
The vital thing now is that we start picking things up away from home now. We have big games at Notts County and Cambridge United and we need to start trying to pick up results. I am led to believe that the performances have been improving with the trips to Luton Town and Colchester United but now we need to take that next step and turn that in to a draw or a win.
We’re in to March now, the spring of the season where pitches start to dry out and the business issues are sorted out in terms of the ups and downs in each division. If we can go away to Notts County and bring something home on Saturday then it will be a massive boost for us again.
The big thing for me is that we’re starting to show that we can score goals again – and they’re being spread about among the attacking players. We’ve got Padraig Amond well in to double figures already and Nathan Thomas and Lewis Alessandra are not far behind as well and if you have a team that can score goals then that’s a big part of the battle.
As well as that, Pallister and Bruce (alright, Brad Walker and Scott Harrison! Haha!) are looking a strong partnership at the back for us now. They have come up against different kinds of strikers now – nippy and quick one as well as big powerful front men – and have they have coped admirably with both. If we can keep it tight at the back and continue scoring then we’ll win more than we’ll lose, that’s for sure.
Finally, I just want to say how great it was to see my mate Rob McKinnon back in the town recently. He was here for a talk-in organised in the Victoria Lounge which was a great success and I want to thank everyone involved for their hospitality and everyone who came for their support.
It was great to see Robbie and his dad again and I know he had a great time while he was here. He even brought me a Celtic kit for my grandson which is brilliant – though he’s beaten me to it in terms of his first kit now because I was hoping it was going to be a Pools one!
Never Say Die!