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Academy: Ian McGuckin analyses Notts County victory

30 November 2023

Club News

Academy: Ian McGuckin analyses Notts County victory

30 November 2023

Academy Manager Ian McGuckin was pleased with his side's last-gasp win away to Notts County on Saturday afternoon.

Pools went behind after a minute but Chris Lynn's free-kick and Euan McBride's late winner meant the three points headed back to the North East. McGuckin assessed:
 
"If we're honest, it was a poor start. We couldn't warm up properly due to the state of the pitch, and that continued going into the game as we conceded after a minute. The lads dug in though and we got ourselves back into it. The first half was end-to-end but Chris Lynn came off the bench at half-time and equalised straight away with a free-kick. It was a fantastic strike and we pushed on from there with a few great opportunities. Josh Mazfari kept us in it as well with an excellent save, before we eventually won it. Our endeavour and perseverance paid off - Alfie Steel and Eddie Ormerod pressed their defence before Euan McBride scored with a cool finish. We're happy with the result but there are still things to work on - we finished the game strongly but we need to start better."
 
 
That win makes it two from two for McGuckin's side in November, having also beat Burton Albion 5-3 on the road in cup action. 
 
"It's nice to get back-to-back victories. It builds confidence amongst the group - everyone is playing their part. It's only Louis Stephenson missing at the moment with a gash on his knee, but that's healed well and he could be in contention to return this weekend."
 
 
Pools are now preparing for their first home fixture in seven weeks, as they welcome Huddersfield Town U18s to Blackhall. The game will take place on Saturday, December 2 (11am kick-off) and McGuckin has provided his pre-match thoughts:
 
"Huddersfield are in the lower half of the league table but we're not looking at that. We're at that stage of the season now where teams are sending their players out to play senior football elsewhere, so we don't know who we're up against until on the day. Our preparation is our preparation - it's making sure we're ready for whatever challenge gets thrown at us."
 
 
McGuckin also touched on the effect of the winter conditions, with temperatures dropping deeper and pitches becoming harder to play on.
 
"We try to get the lads playing attractive football. They've done that for the majority of the season but we've got to be realistic now because the pitches are harder to play on due to the weather. We've got to be clever - if we can play we will, but if we have to go direct then we're able to adapt. We can't tell the lads to play out from the back if the weather doesn't allow it - instead we might look at playing for positions rather than possession."

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