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Showing real character

Reaction pleases Ardley as we earn Pools point

2 November 2019

Neal Ardley praised the character in the squad after we came from two behind to earn a draw against Hartlepool at Meadow Lane.

The visitors took an early lead through Gavan Holohan and doubled their advantage with three minutes to play in the first half, but Wes Thomas’ third and fourth goals of the week saw us come back and claim a point.

And after trailing against an impressive Pools outfit, the boss was pleased with the reaction.

“You have to give credit to the opposition because they were excellent,” said Ardley. “We found ourselves 2-0 down, which is a hard place to be.

“That’s when you could cave or lose your shape and it turns into three, but we didn’t do that.

“The boys showed real character and we saw a side to this team that we’ve not for a while.

“We gave everything and came on strong - I thought we could have gone on to win it.”

After struggling to cope with Hartlepool’s gameplan in the first half, Ardley was pleased to see the changes he made have an effect in the second period.

“As a manager, that’s when you earn your money,” he said.

“In the second half we wanted to keep three players high to get pressure on their defensive four and work the ball into wide areas with our full backs.

“They were looking to stifle the middle of the park and we were playing into their hands.

“Early in the second half, the boys took it too literally and we left ourselves susceptible to the counter-attack and could have conceded twice, but after 15 minutes we got the balance right and looked strong.”

Ardley was happy with Thomas’ contribution after the forward netted his second brace of the week, praising the form of his strikers.

“It’s my job to keep everyone on their toes,” the boss added.

“Kristian Dennis came in and scored goals, now Wes has done the same.

"I have trust in the players and I have to keep them all believing that if they train well, they’ll get their chance.”


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