Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Will Not Sit on Their Lead in Return

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Will Not Sit on Their Lead in Return

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Martin Scott last night admitted Hartlepool United have overachieved this season as they look to move a step closer to the Championship at Tranmere Rovers tonight.

Pool carry a 2-0 advantage into this evening's League One play-off second leg and Scott is adamant they can make it through to the final.

But, the former Sunderland midfielder, is convinced few people expected them to beat Rovers in the first leg at Victoria Park last Friday, especially as he has been put in charge of the club on a temporary basis following the shock sacking of Neale Cooper.

Cooper is widely credited with turning the club into realistic Championship contenders, but it is Scott who has guided them to the verge of the play-off final, with a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth on the final day of the season, as well as the 2-0 win over Tranmere, since Cooper's unexplained departure.

Pool lost in the semi-final at Bristol City a year ago, but Scott believes that bitter experience can only help them at Prenton Park.

"We have the experience of last year at Bristol City," said Scott, who has made no secret of his desire to be awarded the manager's job on a permanent basis.

"Our next aim is to take it a step further and reach the final. I'm not saying we are going to reach the Championship, it's going to be a tough, tough task, but we want to go one step further and reach the final. We had so much disappointment at Bristol last year, but it was a massive experience for us all.

"Once we got on the coach on the way home, it was forgotten about. We had a great season ( we overachieved and we have overachieved again this time.

"We have reached the play-offs again, the players are all coming back to fitness now and, if you had seen them in training the last couple of days, there is a real buzz about them. Friday's performance was a good one and it has given us a lot of confidence."

Hartlepool have been inconsistent on their travels this season, but, despite Scott's attempts to play things down, must be considered the favourites to progress to the final because of their two-goal advantage. …

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