The season starts here for Hartley-Poole

HISTORY-MAKERS one week, now James Poole and Peter Hartley have another memorable achievement in their sights.

The Hartley-Poole United teammates made their mark last weekend in scoring the goals to beat Notts County - the first time instance of players whose names make their team scoring.

But, with 17 games this season remaining, the duo have a bigger, some would say more unlikely, target to shoot for and keep Pools in League One.

It was a very long-shot a month ago, but they have moved within touching distance

Pools are at Swindon today, before meeting Portsmouth on Tuesday night at Victoria Park.

By Wednesday morning, Pools could be off the foot of League One, which would be some physiological lift after six months of misery so far this season.

Pools engineered an all-too-rare feeling last weekend, when they sent supporters home happy after beating Notts County at Victoria Park.

And Poole, who opened the scoring in style last weekend, admitted it wasn't only the fans who enjoyed their evening.

"I watched the goal a few times on Saturday night,'' he admitted. "It's nice to be able to do that rather than ignoring football because you have had a bad result.

"Win and you want to look at the results, watch the highlights and read about it.

"It's a feeling you only get from winning, it's been too rare this season. We got a taste of it at Portsmouth and one of the things we said after that game was to keep the feeling and make sure we got it again.

"I think it felt better against Notts County than it did against Portsmouth and we have to make sure we enjoy it, but not too much.

"Saturday and Sunday yes, but Monday was the start of a new week and the preparation for Swindon.''

Poole has scored in Pools' back to back wins in the last two weeks, last weekend's win followed a 3-1 victory at Portsmouth.

"I've looked at the programme and it's 69 games since we won back to back games, way back to the start of last season when we beat Bury and Bournemouth - it's far too long,'' he admitted.

"I've got two goals in two games and I can't even remember the last time I started two games in a row never mind scored!

"But as a striker that's my job isn't it.''

Poole has formed a lively attacking triumvirate with Charlie Wyke and Jon Franks in the last two weeks since Steve Howard suffered a hamstring strain.

Their bright nature up front has engineered a new outlook to Pools' attacking games.

And, with confidence in the camp at the highest point it has been this season, Poole admitted his team-mates are being inspired by each other's performance.

"You see the lads putting their bodies on the line and you don't want to let anyone down, you don't want to be missing chances or not getting in the right positions and going in with a 0-0 after the defence has worked so hard,'' he admitted.

"I know that if I get a chance I will score, but I'm not happy to cruise along with two goals in two games - I want more. I want three in three, four in three, keep going and it's almost like the start of a season for me.

"I've been given a chance which I've not really had all season.

"Put the other results behind us, look at what we have done of late and take confidence from it in a 17-game season.''

He added: "I'm enjoying playing with Charlie and Franksy - we all work hard, they are good players and we are all on a similar wavelength. We work hard, chase and run around - it's enjoyable.

"You see in training and in games little sparks of what the lads are capable of. But we are all enjoying our football and enjoying turning up on a Saturday, that feeling of getting out there on the pitch.''

Now, with 17 games remaining, there's a feeling that Pools season is just starting.

It might be too late - they have still only won four times this season - but they have three wins in six games.

"That performance last weekend, that feeling, at such an important point of the season for us is so important,'' added Poole.

"Teams around us will look at us and see us picking points up, see the spirit is back and wonder if we are going to catch them - rather than seeing us as one team who are down and that there's only three relegation places to think about.

"Teams have got out of worse situations than this.

"Earlier in the season a goal against us meant we would lose - we felt like there was nothing we could do. Last weekend we scored, then conceded, but we knew we could go and score another. It's a different team to how we were earlier in the season, there's a different feeling.

"We've not done anything consciously to change it, we've just carried on working hard and it's a change for the better. The last few weeks we have won games, which we just haven't been doing.''

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