Hughes: Hard graft ahead

Hartlepool boss John Hughes warned of a lot of hard work to come after his side's 2-2 draw at Crawley sealed their relegation.

Last Updated: 27/04/13 at 19:50

John Hughes: Trying to stay positive

John Hughes: Trying to stay positive

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Andy Monkhouse struck both goals for Pools, who were denied a last-day win by a late equaliser from Jamie Proctor, who also fired a double.

Hughes stressed there was no quick-fix and that League Two would be a testing division to come out of.

He said: "I know what we're up against and I know there will be a lot of hard work done in the close season.

"You have to be invigorated and excited, but I'm encouraged as looking at this performance you wouldn't think that we we are a relegated team."

Hartlepool faced a massive task to stay up after a shocking start to the season, but Hughes felt his side should not have gone down.

He said: "I was hoping for a good start (after replacing predecessor Neal Cooper), but the confidence wasn't there.

"I've had a good response and the boys know I'm with them. Now I'm looking forward to next year."

Hughes had nothing but praise for the band of 417 travelling fans, 130 of whom dressed as penguins as an end-of-season fancy-dress tradition was maintained.

The Scotsman added: "I take my hat off to all of them. It was a great effort. It was all about the supporters. I'm just a little bit disappointed not to close with a victory."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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