Football - Hughes urges Pools to sharpen up

John Hughes wants to see Hartlepool sharpen their act at both ends of the pitch as they look to pull off the Great Escape and avoid relegation.

PA Sport

Tuesday night's 2-1 reverse against Bournemouth was a seventh successive home defeat - an unwanted club record.

The Pools remain eight points adrift at the foot of the npower League One table and 12 from safety.

Lewis Grabban's second-half spot-kick sealed the win for the Cherries, coming after Josh McQuoid's opener had been cancelled out by Jack Baldwin.

"We were outplayed first half and had the best two chances," admitted manager Hughes. "I say about keeping ourselves in the game and we had two great chances.

"Second half when we went on the front foot and gave a go at it we caused problems. But we give ourselves problems at times. We need to keep a clean sheet, that's what I've got to work on.

"There wasn't enough composure in passing and I'd like to think we are better in movement and passing than we are."

Pools have only won twice this season and scored just nine times at Victoria Park in 13 games.

"We just keep saying 'Hartlepool - is it expected to struggle?'," asked Hughes. "Our goal was a cross more than a shot, should have been dealt with and we scored from it.

"We gave a much-improved performance at times but another game passes us by."

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