MANAGER Mick Wadsworth insists he can understand the growing anxiety on the terraces as Hartlepool United strive to end their miserable home run this evening.
Preston North End are the visitors to Victoria Park, with Wadsworth’s men desperate to record a first home win in two-and-a-half months.
Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Yeovil was their sixth in a row in front of their own fans, with the manager stating: “We need to break this cycle we have got ourselves into.
“I have to say our fans have been fantastic with us all season, but you can sense a bit of frustration creeping in now.
“They have been terrific with us all the time I have been at the club, but you can understand the current feeling because we as a team are not giving them what they need and deserve when we play at home.
“Thankfully, our away form has kept us in a reasonable position in the division, but there is no question about it that we have to get better at Victoria Park.
“If we can do that then we can have a really good season.”
Pool sit 11th in the League One standings, just five points away from a play-off berth and 10 points clear of the drop zone at the other end.
Determined to improve on their weekend loss, Wadsworth said: “It was a disappointing result against Yeovil and we conceded a very poor goal from a set piece.
“In the second half we had most of the play, but we just could not get the break-through we needed.
“That has been the trade-mark of our recent home games and we desperately need to break this run.”
Contrasting their dismal form in the North East with a return of five wins from nine on their travels, he added: “It has been a very difficult period for us because we have played so well away from home, and we had put ourselves in good shape for last weekend with a win on the road prior to the Yeovil game. The focus now is we have to win tonight, and if we do we are back up to eighth, which is a reasonable position.”
Delighted by the opportunity run out at Victoria Park so soon after their latest loss, Wadsworth insisted: “I am glad the match is tonight and I am sure the players are of the same mind.
“You always want the next game to come quickly because it is another chance to put things right.
“We worked very hard yesterday morning and the players have come in with a real positive attitude.”
With a strong hand to choose from, the manager revealed: “There is nothing new in terms of fresh injury worries for tonight.
“Sam Collins has started training, as has James Brown, and they have both been out for two or three weeks.
“Whether or not they will be available for selection we will have to wait and see.
“I doubt it and it might just be a bit too soon, but you never know.”
Despite being three points and five places ahead of this evening’s visitors, Wadsworth is taking nothing for granted. He added: “Preston have had a poor run of results and will be just as desperate as ourselves to turn that round.
“Something has to break for one of us, you would think and it is a big game for both clubs.
“They have some very good players. Neil Mellor is back in the team for them, Iain Huhme is apparently back in training and Jamie Proctor started the season very well for them before his injury.
“I would think their manager Phil Brown is quite pleased to have some of his better players coming back into the picture and it will not be an easy game because they have plenty of quality.”