Defensive unit contributes to clean sheet
Scott Davies picked up his second clean sheet of the season at Hartlepool – one he feels is a reward for Town’s brave defending.
The Cod Army came away from Victoria Park with another three points courtesy of Jeff Hughes’ early goal, and a clean sheet to boot after surviving mounting pressure from the home side throughout.
Davies denied veteran striker Steve Howard’s header which looked destined for the net late on, and had Nathan Pond on hand to clear off his line in the first half.
And having already kept one shutout in Town's first away match - a 2-0 victory at Plymouth Argyle - the 26-year-old was delighted with another perfect outcome.
“We’re delighted. I thought the back four were tremendous (against Hartlepool),” said Davies.
“I thought with Pond coming into the side it proves that, as we’ve said before, it’s a squad game. He came into the team and slotted straight into the back four and, as a unit, we were outstanding defensively.
“You’ve got to expect a lot of defensive pressure in most games in this league, and you’ve got to be able to be professional and fight, and have the desire not to concede goals.
It was the perfect response for Davies after shipping three goals against Burton Albion at Highbury, and he explained it’s exactly what manager Graham Alexander was looking for.
“We knew we had to get some sort of result after last week (against Burton Albion),” he said.
“The gaffer asked for a response and I think the boys gave him that, and what better way than to come to a difficult place like this and get the three points and the added bonus of a clean sheet.”
Town’s goalkeeper was called into action many times during the trip to the north-east, but none more so than a save at full stretch from Howard’s header, although he says it’s just part of the job.
“Obviously that’s what I’m there to do (make saves). It’s always nice to make a good save contribute to a successful three points. That’s exactly what it’s all about. Every one of us needs to contribute on a Saturday, and we did that against Hartlepool.
“Both Pondy and Murdoch deserved the chance and when they got it, and they were both brilliant. They’ve came in and showed why they think they should be in the team themselves.
“They’ve done themselves no harm and I thought Stewart bossed it in the midfield, and Pondy likewise at the back. That’s all part of having a competitive squad.
“We all know we have to play well to stay in the team. That’s the kind of environment that the gaffer is trying to build at the club.”
Town take to the road again next Saturday when they visit AFC Wimbledon. Supporters travel departs Highbury at 8am and costs £25 or £12.50 for season ticket holders. Coach places can be booked through the club shop or call 01253 775080. The shop is close on holiday Monday.