Hartlepool United: The Pools Panel Verdict

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David Coleman on Grandstand

We’re not going to lie to you – after all, you are all beautiful, intelligent creatures and we’re massive admirers of whatever it is that you actually do. But we’re just going to have to put it out there right from the start that we don’t especially rate Boro’s chances this weekend, with Hartlepool United galloping into town with the aim of pillaging us humble southern townsfolk for the three points.

You might think that sounds a little bit mopey – after all, our record against Pools is a superb one and we’re yet to lose to them in seven encounters. But this Hartlepool side are slightly different to the tame ones we’ve come up against in the past – this side has started the season on the B in “bang” and have four wins from four games. Oh, and they’ve kept three clean sheets as well.

If you compare that with our record, you’ll weep bitterly. Our sheets are dirtier than if you’d let your errant toddler go outside and make mud cakes with glue and glitter before coming back inside and jumping all over your bed. We’ve let in nine, managed not to lose just one of our four and average less than a goal a game. We’re finding our way, but the momentum is firmly with our guests.

It’ll take a brave manager to stick with the same 11 that took to the field at Leyton Orient. Sure, options are at a premium but we’d be foolish not to explore the chance to ring some changes. How about trying Tom Hitchcock? Or give Tom Conlon a start? Or find a damn cure for Ronnie Henry’s mumps. Let’s try something a bit different – at least it’ll naff up Hartlepool’s scouting report…

Although Ronnie Moore (yeah, ‘im) has transformed the Pools from last season’s relegation certs into a team that might be able to get out this division through the top door, bookmakers are still giving us the benefit of the doubt. Our best price is 5/4 to triumph and theirs is 13/5. Both Teams To Score could be worth a dig this weekend at 39/40 (BetVictor), while Dipo is 5/2 to score.

Don’t get us wrong, we’ll be among the first to cry “huzzah!” and rename the nearest thoroughfare if Boro’ can bag all three points against Hartlepool. With the form book and luck both against us at the moment, more visible signs of improvement will do for us. And then we can train our sights very much on taking down Dagenham and Redbridge in their own back yard next weekend.

Pools Panel: Score Draw.

BoroGuide’s Hartlepool United club profile – so good the Danes hate to see it leave 

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