Colin went, Harkins, Gobern and Wilcox came in, and the mood at Bloomfield Road started to change, for the better.
Bye bye Colin
The penultimate month of the year started off with the F.A. Cup First round trip to Doncaster. Pool’ had snatched all three point at Doncaster earlier in the season with a 1-0 win, so Donny were out for revenge and boy did they get it. Danny Warrender was cleared to play by Manchester City and Colin Hendry decided to change to a 4-5-1 formation due to not having the services of Wright, Morris, Chris Armstrong, Coid, Donnelly, Burns, Anderson, Doughty and Parker. Pool went down 4-1, with the conciliation coming from a late Peter Clarke pen.
Four days later a statement on the clubs website confirmed that Hendry had left the club, we were out of two of the three competitions, lay in 21st position and the mood around the club was at an all time low. How that would change in coming week.
Simon Grayson was placed in temporary charge and his first task was to overcome Scunthorpe United who at the time were in the play-off positions. Also the Sky Sports cameras were at Bloomfield Road to capture what turned out to be one of the best games at of the season.
Grayson was able to call upon the services of Morris, Armstrong and Wright after they were cup-tied for the Doncaster match. The game didn’t get off to the best of starts with Billy Sharp grabbing an early goal for the visitors, but John Murphy equalised and then Andrew Crosby was sent off for tripping Tommy Wright, Sharpe regained the lead for the Iron but Morris and Wright stuck at before half time to give the Seasiders the lead. In the second half Pool took control and made the game safe with a tap in from Murphy and Morris also got his second of the match with a fantastic curling left foot finish. Every thing was good again at Bloomfield Road.
Gary Harkins joined on loan from Blackburn Rovers, but he couldn’t help as Pool lost out 3-2 to Colchester away. Late goals from Tommy Wright and John Murphy made the score look more respectable.
Out of the cup
Thoughts were turned away from the league with a LDV game at League Two’s high flyers Carlisle. Paul Simpson’s side proved to strong for the Pool who came from behind to win 2-1. Pool’s goal came from Garry Harkins, this defeat left us out off all competitions, at least it meant that we were able to focus on our league campaign now.
Squaring up at Saltergate
A third away trip in a row was next up at Saltergate. For the trip there were two new faces in the squad, ex-England international Jason Wilcox joined on loan from Leicester and Lewis Gobern joined on loan from Wolverhampton. Both started in the match at Saltergate. Shane Nicholson and Ciaran Donnelly were sent of for ‘hang bags’ after 13 minutes. But pool managed to fight back and a second goal in as many games from Gary Harkins gave Pool a valuable point.
At the end of the month it was fully confirmed that Colin Hendry had left the club and that Grayson would remain as manager for the foreseeable future. With Grayson in charge all focus was on keeping our League One status.