John Askey's comments on Hartlepool United criticism and what next after Aldershot reverse

John Askey has accepted responsibility for Hartlepool United's drop in form (Photo: Frank Reid)
John Askey has accepted responsibility for Hartlepool United's drop in form (Photo: Frank Reid)

Askey was left perplexed by Hartlepool's defeat in Hampshire after they had initially given themselves a strong foothold in the game thanks to Emmanuel Dieseruvwe’s ninth goal of the season.

Dieseruvwe produced a stunning piece of individual brilliance when acrobatically putting Hartlepool in front just before the hour at the EBB Stadium.

And it is a lead in which Hartlepool might have doubled, with Askey’s side creating one or two chances on the break in the second half.

But with Pools 10 minutes away from securing what would have been back-to-back league victories for the first time since August, Askey watched his side fall to defeat courtesy of yet more defensive mistakes.

Hartlepool gave possession away cheaply inside their own half which allowed substitute Kwame Thomas to slide in a low cross from the left to level the scores before Pools inexplicably conceded a second immediately from the restart after yet another cheap turnover in possession saw Josh Stokes clear on goal to beat Pete Jameson.

It was a result which continued Hartlepool's drop in form since the opening month of the campaign and brought about further anger from supporters with regards to the situation the club finds itself in – and Askey has accepted his responsibility in that criticism.

"There’s never been a football club yet that I’ve known of, or been at, where you’re not going to get criticised,” said Askey.

"At the end of the day the buck stops with me as the manager and you have to take it on the chin, no matter what.

"I can come up with all of the excuses in the world but the person who has travelled down from Hartlepool and seen that isn’t going to accept my excuses.

READ MORE: Pools ratings in late Aldershot defeat

"We work really hard with the players,” he added.

"Sweens is very good with the stuff that he puts on – he works his socks off, so does Mark with the keepers. We all try and help them as much as we possibly can and you put them onto the pitch.

"I don’t feel as though, when we play, our keepers have that much to do. It’s not as though we come under loads and loads of pressure, we probably did late in the first half. But I can’t believe at this level you can’t keep clean sheets.”

Askey’s frustration is becoming one of regular occurrence with Hartlepool’s slump in form.

The Pools chief admits it is a challenging period as boss but is hopeful things will turn for his side – something which will make his team stronger.

"Nothing seems to be going right at the moment,” he said.

"That’s a test for myself. All you can do is try and draw on years of experience and try and pass that onto the players and, hopefully, we’re good enough to come through a sticky period and if we do come through it then it will feel even more sweeter.”