HARTLEPOOL United manager John Hughes has told his players not to take victory for granted today.
Yes, you did read that correctly.
Hughes, manager of the team who started 2013 11 points adrift at the bottom of League One, has warned them against complacency when they travel to Preston North End.
It just sums up a remarkable finish to 2012.
“We went to Sheffield United who were riding high and celebrating 150 years of football at Bramall Lane – they were supposed to win hands down,” reflected the Scot of his side’s game against the then-league leaders.
Hartlepool ran out 3-2 winners, Harry Maguire giving the scoreline a bit of respectability (and believability) with the last kick of the game.
“So are we supposed to go and win our next game against Preston hands down?” continued Hughes, who oversaw six of the club record 22 consecutive winless games this season. “Football doesn’t work like that.
“We enjoyed the win on Saturday but now we have to go again and if we can get the same application and attitude then we will be a hard team to beat.”
Only Hartlepool’s second win of the campaign has changed the mood at their Maiden Castle training ground – hopefully for more than a day or two.
Hughes went on: “Hopefully, we can take the confidence and momentum from that and carry it on.
“It was a happy changing room afterwards and there have been smiles on the training ground.
“Now we have to have the character to continue that – we’ve tasted that winning feeling again and now we have to want more of that and really want to kick on in the New Year. It’s given everyone a lift, including the supporters who have been terrific, so I hope they turn out in their numbers and we can give them something more to cheer.”