NEIL AUSTIN believes his Hartlepool team-mates will go into today’s match against Norwich with no fear, as they look to topple the League One leaders.

It was Austin’s goal that rescued a point for Pools against Gillingham on Tuesday night – in a match many expected them to win – but the rightback is convinced the pressure will be off them at Carrow Road this afternoon.

“We have been playing some good football in the last two or three games and the goals will come. We just need a bit of luck,” said Austin.

“There is absolutely no pressure on us whatsoever at Norwich.”

Norwich are three points clear at the top of League One, with the second-best goalscoring record at home. Recent wins over Huddersfield, Milwall and the 5-0 thrashing of Colchester have galvanised the Canaries’ hopes of making an instant return to the Championship.

Since Paul Lambert replaced Bryan Gunn in August, Norwich have won 21 of their 32 games under the former Celtic and Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

But Austin said: “We have nothing to fear. Grant Holt will be suspended and that is a big boost for us as well.

“I think they have won their last 11 at home so we can just go there and play football and hopefully get a win.

“These teams that are coming up might start favourites to beat us but it’s still 11 against 11, so why can’t we beat them?”

Austin’s goal against Gillingham from 20 yards capped a man-of-the-match performance. It was his first strike for Pools since his summer transfer, and only the sixth of a career which started in 2002 with Barnsley.

“I saw it open up and thought I would have a crack.

Fortunately it went in and hopefully it’s the first of many,” he said.

“I scored a couple of goals at Darlington last season, Bradford City away on Sky and at Macclesfield, from about 30 yards, when we won 6-0, but Tuesday’s was a bit more important.

“We needed three points against a team who are down there, who travelled on the day, but it wasn’t to be.

“Looking at the fixtures, in the last four games and the next four coming up, this was a game everybody expected three points from. But at least we didn’t lose.”

Chris Turner is expected to play 4-5-1 at Carrow Road, a move which Austin thinks will be to Pools’ benefit.

“With the 4-5-1 at the likes of Norwich, it’s a bigger pitch so there is more room. Joe Gamble likes to get on the ball and have plenty options and get it wide. It’s not as easy at the Vic but I think we did well the other night.

Pools have won only once in 2010 and a lack of consistency in the middle part of the season has dragged them closer to the relegation zone.

Austin believes the answer to this inconsistency is simple – tighten up and cut out the mistakes.

He said: “We started the season really well away from home with clean sheets and I think it’s important to start and keep a few more clean sheets now as well.

“You don’t win games if you don’t keep clean sheets and you don’t score.

“About a month or so back we were second in the cleansheet league and I think we will have dropped down a bit more.”