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Baldwin flourishing in midfield role
FOR Jack Baldwin and James Poole, there must have been times when their home was the scene of misery.
Flatmates and team-mates, the pair were both in and out of the struggling Hartlepool United side.
In recent weeks, however, it’s been a different story. Both have been in the starting XI and both have been scoring.
Baldwin got two goals in two games, Poole likewise.
The pair will line up this afternoon against Orient at Victoria Park and Baldwin, man of the match in Tuesday’s draw with Portsmouth, admitted: “It’s a happier flat now than it has been. We have both scored and been playing regularly now, so we are both delighted and hopefully work together. We talk to each other about games and understand each other’s game so we both aim to help us out of this situation.
“It was mayhem the other week when Hartley and Poole both scored – but it was all good for the club. His goal was superb, something you expect to see in the Premier League, never mind at the Vic in League One.’’
Pools were disappointed not to see off Pompey on Tuesday and finally lift off the bottom of the table.
Instead, they go again today and have another chance to not only overtake Pompey, but close the gap to the safety zone.
“We keep focused on our jobs and not worry about others – we have to believe we can do it and that’s the first step and the belief is there,’’ admitted Baldwin.
“We’ve had good results of late and want to keep on going. A win on Saturday would get us towards it.’’
Baldwin went close to adding to his goal tally on Tuesday with a quick burst into the area, before dragging his shot across the far post.
It was Pools’ best chance of the night and he reflected: “It was head down and try and get through, a touch took me through and I had a quick glance, there was no-one there to cut to so I had to have a shot.
“It started off OK, but dragged away.
“Everyone feels at some point if they up their game it lifts others. Evan keeps telling me talk all the game because if we keep encouraging, then someone might have switched off and a word might get them back on track.
“I’ve scored two goals now and I know I can score now. I had three shots the other night, which hasn’t really been like me. Score one and it gives you belief for more.’’
He added: “We are playing in a three-man midfield and I enjoy it in there. The gaffer wants me to pick up second balls, win headers and help out where I can. I’d like to think I’ve the legs and stamina to do that and get in the box.
“There’s a massive belief here now, we can keep ticking over and hopefully things can happen for us, in our favour.
“I’m enjoying playing in midfield, the game is different in there for me, especially playing in a three. If the opposition have two in there in the middle against us, we have an overload in there so have to make the most of it.’’