STANDARDS won’t be allowed to slip at Hartlepool United.

Mid-table Pools go to Barnet today with little to play for in their last eight games of the season.

Ten points from the final relegation spot, they are 15 shy of the final play-off position. The season could end today and it would matter little.

Pools have a long recent list of seasons going to the wire, and over the last decade it’s been about trying to avoid relegation.

There’s no concerns this season and, while a top ten finish remains the aim, it’s of little overall consequence.

There’s already a turn of attention towards next season and a proper assault at getting out of the division and back into the Football League.

But until then, assistant manager Ged McNamee feels there’s plenty left to consider.

“There’s a need this season to finish as well and as high as we can. Go out and be professional about it. We can’t be complacent at all and keep picking up points,’’ he reflected.

“We can’t let standards slip. Look at the midweek results, you realise the bottom teams can beat top teams.

“From our point of view it’s about staying focused and putting in performances. Some lads are out of contract and going out there in some respects to prove they should be here next season.’’

Today’s opposition are only three points above the drop zone. They lost at Gateshead last weekend, and drew with Halifax in midweek, for whom ex-Pools forward Devante Rodney was on target after moving on loan from Salford City.

Pools lost to Fylde in midweek 4-2, their first away defeat under Craig Hignett.

But they came back from two goals down last weekend to get the better of Dover at the Super 6 Stadium and there’s been plenty of goals in Pools’ performances of late.

McNamee said: “We changed system from the start on Tuesday to a back four from a three. We looked at games when we have been behind and scored goals when we changed system without conceding.

“Sometimes it’s about being more attack-minded too. There’s a new group here, a couple of new defenders playing together and it takes time to know each other. There are some young players in the team and they play with a freedom, but it can be frustrating when their inexperience shows in making the wrong decision.

“But over the last few games, some play has bene exciting for the fans and we want them to express themselves and attack.’’