HARTLEPOOL make the long trip to Exeter this afternoon with boss Mick Wadsworth insisting it is high time his side found their form on the road.
Pool have picked up just one point, scoring one goal, in five away games since the turn of the year.
But Wadsworth hopes his side will draw confidence from the four points they have collected from a run of three tough home games against Charlton, MK Dons and Southampton, and take that into today’s game at St James’ Park.
“We’ll be positive and go there with confidence,” said Wadsworth.
“Our away form has been poor since the New Year, there’s no doubt about that – but we are dealing with the reasons for that and hopefully we can turn it around.”
When these sides met at the Victoria Ground back in September, Pool twice threw away the lead and ended up losing 3-2, but Wadsworth believes his side have improved significantly since then.
“Exeter are quite an adventurous and positive side, we saw that in the game at The Vic earlier in the season when we twice got in to a lead and then threw it away,” he said.
“We have improved since then, though, and we have to go there this weekend and build on the good work we’ve done in the last three [home] games because we’ve played very well.”
Twelfth-placed Exeter are just one place and one point ahead of Pool in the League One table, and go into today’s game on the back of a three-game unbeaten run that saw Paul Tisdale’s side pick up maximum points at Notts County and Charlton before drawing at Carlisle.
Wadsworth said: “I’ve got admiration for Exeter; I like the boy [Ryan] Harley, and [Jamie] Cureton has a good poacher’s brain to get into areas where he can nick goals.
“They are a good team and I like the way Paul Tisdale approaches his work in such a positive way – we can compete with that though so we’re looking forward to the game.”
Pool have injury doubts over striker James Brown (ankle) and midfielder Paul Murray (knee).
Exeter are hoping that defender Richard Duffy can shake off a knock he suffered in the 3-1 win over Charlton last weekend, and that midfielder James Dunne recovers from a bruised leg.
Tisdale said: “Richard Duffy is still struggling and missed Carlisle.
“James Dunne came on right at the end [at Carlisle] but he’d suffered from a badly bruised leg on Saturday.
“There are one or two with a knock but we’d be kidding ourselves if we think we can breeze through games without any physical repercussions.
“But everyone feels very optimistic about the next chunk of games.
“The next two home ones are our focus now and we need to retain the energy and teamwork we’ve produced in the last two or three games.”