NICKY FEATHERSTONE says Hartlepool United’s players are desperate to push the club over the National League finishing line tomorrow night against Leyton Orient.

Pools are just one win away from safety despite slipping two places to 19th following their 1-1 draw at Sutton United.

They have a five-point cushion over Barrow, who occupy 21st spot, and four over 20th-placed Woking.

But, out-of-sorts Woking have only two matches left so three points against the O’s at Victoria Park will be enough.

It would relieve the tension around the club and the town and end the almost annual last-ditch battle for survival.

“We do make it hard for ourselves, don’t we?” said Featherstone, who says the players are hoping to see caretaker boss get the manager’s job on a permanent basis..

“We have the last few years since I’ve been here.

“But you can see the reaction Batesy has got from the lads, we’re all working for him and barring the previous two results, against Guiseley and Solihull, it’s all been positive since he’s been in charge.

|”We’ve worked hard for Batesy and got right behind him.”

Saturday’s draw at Gander Green Lane was not the most beautifiul of games, but Festherstone says the squad were delighted with how they scrapped their way to a point.

Sutton controlled the first half, taking an early lead through Ross Lafayette, before Josh Hawkes leveled with his second goal for the club.

Pools were grateful to some excellent saves from Scott Loach but Featherstone believed they were worthy of a point.

“I think you’d have taken a point after that first 10 minutes,” said the midfielder.

“It’s a tough place to come to, the way they play is very direct, they are a big physical side.

“Scott made a good few saves in the first half, but he’s been good all season.

“Consistency-wise he’s probably been our best player, having your keeper as the best player is something you probably don’t want as a team, but it is what it is.

“We got better as the game went on and I thought in the second half we might go on and nick it.”