04:00PM, Friday 11 August 2017
Photo: Mark Fletcher Shutter Press
CRAIG Harrison knows that Hartlepool are a big fish in a smaller pond and as such will be viewed as a big scalp for sides such as Maidenhead, who they visit on Saturday.
The side which he took charge of in the summer was relegated from League 2 on the final day of last season but Harrison said the Pools are ‘ready, prepared and focused’ for the battles to come at this level.
They’re yet to win in the National League after picking up a defeat and a draw from their first two matches, but he’s hoping their first three points will come at York Road.
Hartlepool turned to Harrison, a multiple Welsh Premier League champion as manager of the New Saints, after last season’s dismal run to relegation.
“I know how difficult it’s going to be in the Conference,” he said. “I’ve watched a lot of football at this level and the Conference North over the last few years and I never thought it was going to be easy.
“It’s going to be a battle on a bi-weekly basis but that’s something we’re looking forward to.
The games will come thick and fast and, whether we like it or not, we’re one of the bigger teams in the division and will be seen as a big scalp.
“We’re looking forward to trying to get our first three points on Saturday.
“We sent someone to watch their last three games and hopefully that will enable me to come up with enough of a game plan. It should be interesting.
“I’ve been told they’re quite physical and direct but we’ve done our homework and I’m sure they have too.
Harrison knows it will be a big occasion for the Magpies on Saturday, with BT Sport covering the game live (kick-off 12.30pm, and believes his more experienced players can take advantage of that.
“From our point of view the TV coverage on Saturday won’t have any bearing, but I understand that it will be a big game for them. We’re focused, ready and prepared for the game,” added the Pools boss.
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