Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Left with All to Play for; Fight for Survival Will Go Down to Wire at Bristol

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Left with All to Play for; Fight for Survival Will Go Down to Wire at Bristol

Article excerpt

Hartlepool United 0 Leeds United 1

CHRIS Turner says work has already started on getting a Hartlepool squad together for next season - all he has to do is find out in which division his team will be playing, writes ARTHUR PICKERING.

League One safety is not assured, and their fate won't be settled until the final day of the season on Saturday, when Pool are at Bristol Rovers. A point will be enough, but goal difference means even a narrow defeat could see them safe, at the same time possibly condemning the nearest club Pool have to derby opponents, Carlisle, to the big drop if they don't hammer play-off-bound Millwall.

"It's going to be tense, and I have felt for some time that it would go down to the final game," said Hartlepool boss Turner.

"But we will go to Bristol aiming to try to win the game, at the same time not being too cavalier in our attitude. I would certainly rather be in our position than in Carlisle's, but that's football. I don't want to see them go down, but I certainly don't want us to go down either." Pool put in a creditable show against Leeds, but it rarely looked like being enough against a side bristling with class.

Leeds grabbed the game's only goal on the hour. A short pass into the area by Ben Parker gave Jermaine Beckford a rare chance to turn, and his low shot from the left of the box sneaked inside the far post.

"It was a touch of real class and it was the difference between the two sides," said Turner.

"We worked hard and I was proud of the way the players went into the game, but we couldn't create that clear-cut chance." On a dramatic final day, any two of six clubs could finish in the final two relegation places, but Pool should have enough to be safe, even if they have to be without top scorer Joel Porter and Saturday's star man Michael Nelson.

Porter's home farewell before he heads back to Australia ended early with a hamstring injury, while Nelson had seven stitches in a gash above his right eye late on, and both could be doubtful. …

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