We Can Still Improve – Donaldson

Ryan Donaldson, Barrow v Hartlepool United

Ryan Donaldson fired home the only goal at Barrow on Tuesday night to secure a third successive win and then warned Pools’ National League rivals that they’re only going to get better.

The skipper was restored to the side for the midweek trip to Holker Street and repaid the faith shown in him by Craig Hignett by scoring twenty minutes from time to clinch the 1-0 victory.

Nine points from nine has boosted Pools up to eighth in the table ahead of a mouth-watering televised clash with in-form Woking on Saturday and Donaldson was thrilled with the result.

“It’s a massive win, a huge win,” he told Pools TV.

“We showed a side to us that we need in this league.

“It was a bit uncomfortable at times and they had a lot of the ball but we knew that might be the case and we were fine with that, and we had a few chances on the break.

“We’re getting better every game and we have a lot be pleased about but we can still improve so hopefully it’s exciting times to come.”

Donaldson’s breakaway goal came after good work from Gime Toure on the halfway line allowed him to run clean through before finishing clinically past former Pools loan man Joel Dixon.

“I didn’t know how much time I had or else I might have panicked and messed it up somehow!

“I have got away and not really looked at where the defence was, just focused on the keeper. He was swaying a bit but I whipped it back across him – it was a good finish so I was pleased.

“I had one in the first half which got under my feet a little bit but I was confident when I went through the second time.

“I had Nobsa behind me shouting ‘time, time’ and I was thinking ‘just leave me alone, I have enough to think about here!’ Thankfully, it’s gone in so I was happy.”

Donaldson saved his final word for the travelling band of Pools fans who braved the elements to show their support in Cumbria on Tuesday night.

Many of those in the terraced area behind the goal ran for cover when the torrential rain reached its peak, but some were too stubborn and simply cheered the team on from behind the deluge.

“Ridiculous. Stupendous. Mental. But class,” said Donaldson.

“You shouldn’t be surprised by Pools fans anymore, but you are.

“We were talking before the game about how many fans there would be with it being a horrible, rainy Tuesday night – and then you come out and see them.

“Particularly in the second half, they really got behind us and willed us on. I know they’ll be very wet but I really hope they enjoyed that.”