Brian Honour blogs about the start to the season and also send his best wishes to former Pools star Lennie Johnrose in his fight against MND.
Hello everyone and welcome back to my latest Blog here on the Official Website.
I think we’re all pretty satisfied with the way the new season has gone so far and the winning run we’ve managed to get ourselves on the last couple of weeks.
To be honest, I think the performances all season have been good without getting the results we perhaps deserved. We weren’t that far away so thankfully everyone kept calm because it was always going to be about taking our chances and cutting out those daft mistakes at the tail end of games.
We have done that now and we’ve been getting the wins to match our performances, which is brilliant. The Bank Holiday weekend was fantastic – to go down to Dagenham and win before coming home to beat a much-fancied Chesterfield side was something to really enjoy.
It feels like a new place at the minute and it just feels right to me, on and off the pitch. I am lucky enough to know a few of the lads and I see them quite regularly at the training ground – you can tell there’s a buzz about the place right now so long may that continue.
It was great to see Nicky get on the scoresheet again on Monday – I text him after the game to tell him what a goal machine he’s turning in to but he laughed it off. Fair play to him though, he was out of the side at the start of the season but he’s got back in and scored a couple of goals too which is what it’s all about.
It’s great to see that when it happens from the likes of Nicky and Michael Woods who was in the same boat – they didn’t sulk, they just got their heads down and worked hard so they were ready when called upon and they’ve gone in and gone the business. Fair play to the Manager too because there wasn’t a lot wrong but he was brave enough to tinker with it and those little changes he’s made have reaped dividends.
The good thing is that Feaths and Woodsy know they have to maintain that standard now because when you look at the bench it’s exceptionally strong for the level we’re playing at. Even the lads who aren’t in the squad are talented players and that just proves what a powerful squad we have so it’s a massive well done to Batesy and Ged and also Higgy on the recruitment side. They have supported the Manager with good players and to top it off by bringing Luke Williams in is superb.
Luke is someone I have known since he was very young and he’s a phenomenal signing for us. I used to coach him at Middlesbrough’s Academy when he was about 10, alongside the likes of Matty Dolan, Ben Gibson and Charlie Wyke – he played number 10 just in behind Charlie, actually. Even then, in amongst all those other players, he stood out and whenever we played the opposition would always ask us who he was.
One thing that impressed me most about him was his attitude though – he was a polite kid who just wanted to work hard so to see him back at Pools now really excites me. If we can play well enough to keep Luke out of the side then we will be doing alright!
I’ve certainly enjoyed the games I have been to this season and I thought the atmosphere at the end of the Chesterfield game on Monday was absolutely fantastic. I think the fans sensed that the players needed that little helping hand and the noise created will have definitely helped us get the job done.
I have been causing a bit of a stir on matchdays with my fashion sense this season but I am just trying to drag the standards up in the press box to be honest. People have started asking me what I’m going to be wearing now so it’s just a little bit of fun – I do like a good hat though!
On a sadder note, I was devastated to hear the news that was confirmed about my old Pools team-mate Lennie Johnrose after he confirmed that he’s been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. I watched his interview on the BBC last week and you could tell there was heartache in his voice – but if there’s anyone ready to fight this then it’s Lennie because he’s a born battler.
He’s a cracking lad too. I remember after the Carlton Palmer incident (where he grabbed me by the throat and threw me to the floor) the linesman put in a report saying I had dived so there was a hearing organised at York City. Lennie told me straight away that he saw everything and that he would come to York with me as a witness – he didn’t have to do that but he wanted to put his head on the block for me because we knew it could come down to my word against the linesman’s.
Thankfully, it didn’t come to that because the match footage was enough to get the charge thrown out and the linesman a warning but I always remembered Lennie’s kindness in offering to do that – he’s a top fella.
I also remember seeing him in the dressing room before a game with his Walkman on (we all had Walkmans back in the day!) and I saw him tapping his foot along to the music. I went over and asked what he was listening to and to my astonishment it was Stiff Little Fingers – a punk rock band! It turned out he was in to his alternative music and he was very knowledgeable about it too!
After Pools he went on to some really good things in football and I think he’s a proper legend at Burnley but he’s fondly remembered at The Vic too. I think I speak on behalf of all supporters and former team-mates when I wish him all the best with the battles ahead and I hope he can get access to the best treatment available.
It would be really nice to see him back at Pools for a game this season so if you’re reading this Blog, Lennie then consider this an open invitation on behalf of the Club and the supporters. It would be brilliant to see you back here and hopefully enjoying a win!
Anyway, that’s all for now – I will be back soon with another Blog but in the meantime I will catch you all on the Pools PlayerHD commentary on Tuesday night for the game against Barrow.
Never Say Die!