Bristol Rovers v Hartlepool United Match Preview

Two teams in different battles go up against each other on Tuesday night as play off hopefuls Bristol Rovers entertain relegation threatened Hartlepool United at the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers manager Darrell Clarke will have to pick his players after their disappointing away defeat at the hands of Wycombe Wanderers on the weekend.

Clarke, who has seen his side lose three of their previous four matches has said though that he is unaffected by his side’s dip in form.

“It is only the three teams at the top who have been really consistent across the whole of the season,” Clarke said. “The rest of the teams have been through periods of inconsistency and that is just the way football works.

“Do I want my team to be more consistent? Of course I do. Do the players need to be more consistent? Yes, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that we are still right in the mix to finish the season on a high.

“We went on a poor run over five games earlier in the season where we got one point out of 15 and everybody was talking about a relegation fight.

“Yes, we have only got four points from the last 15, but we have played good teams in Oxford, Portsmouth , Plymouth, Accrington and Wycombe.” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

Hartlepool go into the game on the back of picking up four points from their previous four games under their newly appointed manager Craig Hignett.

The Pools also go into the game with their tails up after halting league leaders Northampton Town’s run of 10 successive wins last time out.

Captain Billy Paynter spoke of his side’s delight in ending that run and has said that his side will head into the match full of confidence.

“Northampton had 10 straight wins and I think, on paper, people would not have backed us.

“The lads were a bit downhearted that we didn’t come away with all three points, but I think we’d have taken a point before the game.

“It was a positive result and nice to get a clean sheet and we can kick on from that for Bristol Rovers,” he told the Hartlepool Mail.


The Gas have won five of their last six home games, drawing the other.

Pools’ last five away days have produced one point from a possible 15.

Rovers manager Darrell Clarke played 127 games for the Pools, scoring 19.

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