Hughes brings in-form side to Doncaster

John Hughes, manager of Rovers' opponents Hartlepool
John Hughes, manager of Rovers' opponents Hartlepool

HARTLEPOOL boss John Hughes is worried his side’s remarkable revival could be about to be derailed.

But it is not the trip to Doncaster on Saturday that is concerning the Scotsman - it is the prospect of being named manager of the month.

Pools are unbeaten in seven, a run which has included five wins, putting Hughes in prime contention for the League One prize.

And that is something he is desperate to avoid.

“Don’t talk about manager of the month,” Hughes said. “I’ve had it before and it’s the kiss of death.

“We’ve got to be careful with expectations and take each game as it comes - that’s served us well so far.

“We have confidence and momentum right now.

“At the moment, they’re all up for it and long may that be the case.

“We can only look after ourselves and we have to keep our feet on the ground.

“The next six weeks for us are Saturday-Tuesday matches but that’s brilliant. Bring it on.

“As a footballer, it’s the best situation, especially when you’re playing at the top of your game because you never get out of the zone.

“We’ve got the winning feeling now.”

Pools continued their excellent run with a 3-0 win over Crewe on Tuesday night, a result which has moved them five points from safety.

The resurgence has transformed the relegation fight from a lost cause - which saw them 14 points from safety at one stage - to genuine survival contenders.

Former Rotherham United midfielder Andy Monkhouse is set to start against Rovers on Saturday after coming off the bench to score Pools’ third against Crewe.

Simon Walton and Evan Horwood both suffered calf injuries on Tuesday, opening the door for usual substitute Monkhouse who has won praise from Hughes recently for his role in the camp.

Hughes said: “If I’m going to give anyone a special mention for the way we’re going about our business right now then it’s Monks.

“I’m not patronising him or blowing smoke up his backside.

“But when he’s not playing, he’s so supportive of his team mates and he knows we’re all in in together.

“I share the disappointment of the lads when you’re itching to play and feel you’ve got something to give. I’ve been there.

“But he’s done himself no harm last night and I’ve been delighted with his attitude.”