Hughes happy with a point, but wants more self-belief

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

FOUR points from two away games for the first time this season, but John Hughes was left with a sense of frustration.

The Hartlepool United boss was pleased with the manner in which his side battled back to earn a point at Shrewsbury, but wishes they had shown more intent to go and win the game.

Jon Taylor's opener was cancelled out by Charlie Wyke's 55th minute strike.

But, after drawing level, Hughes wanted his players to show a greater willingness to try and win the game instead of preserving a point. They almost paid the price for their outlook as goalkeeper Scott Flinders kept them in it deep into injury time with two top-drawer saves.

"I wasn't worried at one-down, I want us to have a go,'' he said. "Sometimes losing a goal gives you an injection and it did that. I felt we were the better team first half and the dynamics changed when we scored - instead of going to win it, it put doubt in us.

"We allowed them to come on top of us and Scotty Flinders kept us in it.

"Even in the last ten minutes, I will look at this in training and put different scenarios into action - how do we go and play this last ten minutes of football?''

He added: "I was screaming at them to use the situation to their advantage, put it in behind them for Franks to chase and hurt them. I will try and coach it into the boys.

"Looking at it and I wonder why we stopped passing the ball like we did in the first half when we played on the front foot with enthusiasm.

"I'm pleased with a point, that's an honest assessment, but I want strength of character and and a show of responsibility.

"Get your foot on the ball and make a pass to your own team-mate. The players are doing things in the last ten minutes that I know they wouldn't do in training.

"That's the level of character you need on the pitch, you need a belief that if you make a mistake then so be it.''

Saturday's opponents Colchester could have a new manager at the weekend. After a ninth successive defeat, Joe Dunne admitted he will consider his future. His first game in charge was a 3-1 win over Pools in September.

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