John Askey's verdict as pressure grows following Hartlepool United's defeat at Halifax Town

John Askey acknowledged the pressure growing at Hartlepool United after their National League defeat to FC Halifax Town. (Photo: Frank Reid)
John Askey acknowledged the pressure growing at Hartlepool United after their National League defeat to FC Halifax Town. (Photo: Frank Reid)

Hartlepool fell to back-to-back 2-1 defeats after going behind twice against Halifax at the Shay, with Askey acknowledging the pressure that is growing around the football club as they continue to drift away from the play-off places, with this their ninth defeat in the league this season.

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe scored his 10th goal of the campaign to hit back for Pools after Max Wright’s deflected effort beat Pete Jameson 10 minutes before half-time.

But an awful start to the second half saw the Shaymen bombard Hartlepool with chance after chance before Adam Senior gave the home side the lead once more from close range after a loose ball fell in the area from a corner.

Pools were just about able to weather the storm without falling further behind before then coming up against a goalkeeper in inspired form in Sam Johnson who made three key saves to keep Askey’s side at arms length, once from Dieseruvwe and twice from Josh Umerah, with Pools now five points adrift of the play-off places.

And with Hartlepool’s alarming slide, questions will continue to be asked as to whether Askey can turn the tide once more for Pools.

"For myself, every time we lose, and I’m not exaggerating, it feels like someone has died. With any manager it probably hits them more than anybody else,” Askey told BBC Radio Tees when confronting the pressure he faces.

"At the end of the day it’s your job and usually the first person to suffer is the manager.

"I love being at the football club and I obviously try my best, but it does affect you, massively.

"But what I’ve got to do is try and keep a clear head, keep calm, not get too carried away and try and motivate the players and get the best out of what we’ve got.”

READ MORE: Halifax Town 2 Hartlepool United 1: Pools lose ground in play-off hunt

And in order to get the best out of what he's got, Askey has admitted it may be time to go back to the drawing board in terms of his approach and look to simplify things for his players in a quest to end their slump, with Pools having won just two of their last 10 National League games.

"I think we’ve got to look at how we play and maybe try and simplify things,” said Askey.

"We’ve got to get more balls into the box, we’ve got to get the ball forward quicker and hopefully by doing that, and playing in their third of the pitch more, that might lead to less mistakes being made at the back.

"At the end of the day you’ve got to have the personnel to do what we’re wanting to do and at times against certain opposition we look okay, but you can't keep losing games the way that we’re losing games, so we've got to have a look at the way we’re playing.”