Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Only Half-Way There

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Only Half-Way There

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Steel And Andrew Wilkinson

Micky Barron insists Hartlepool's play-off job is only half done despite a 2-0 lead over Tranmere.

Pool are in the box seat in their League One semi-final after Adam Boyd struck an impressive first leg double at Victoria Park.

But Barron, who made his first start since March in Friday's game, says it is still all to play for in the return tie tomorrow night as both sides strive to make the Cardiff final.

"We see this as half-time," said the club captain.

"They are going to come at us and put us under a lot of pressure, so it's up to our lads to stand up and be counted."

Pool fans created a wall of sound as their side dominated for long spells and Barron feels the same kind of support could be inspirational at Prenton Park.

"I don't think I've ever heard as much noise made at home as the other night, the fans were brilliant and we want them to be the same on Tuesday," he said.

"It will be a big night, with a big crowd and a cracking atmosphere.

"We go into it at 0-0, that's how we look at it.

"Of course we have to be defensive about it, but we will be looking to win the game.

"It's important the fans think the same and go down there not thinking it's over."

Friday night's win was Pool's first in nine play-off matches, and Barron admitted it was a welcome relief to break the duck.

"We've waited a long time to win any game in the play-offs," he added.

"We've played well and got nothing, but I think Friday was the best we have played in nine games.

"We went to Bristol City last season and played very well on a big stage.

"They scored two in the last few minutes and we will learn from it.

"We have to concentrate for 90 minutes at Tranmere now and if we work as hard as we did on Friday, hopefully we will have a good chance.

"They have some experienced players who have played in big games before and it will be tough.

"We defended well against them, they had a couple of spells when they came into the game but we stood up to them.

"It might be a case of those ten minute spells turning into 20 or 30 minute spells of pressure and it's up to us to keep them out. …

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