LET’S FIGHT FOR OUR FU­TURES...

Pools ace Nicky still pos­i­tive

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Joshua Richards

WITH Hartle­pool United cut adrift at the foot of League Two, mid­fielder Nicky Feather­stone has warned his team-mates they are play­ing for their ca­reers.

The 26-year-old looked to have the world at his feet when he grad­u­ated from the youth ranks at Hull City to the first team, play­ing along­side the likes of Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­als Nicky Barmby and Ray Par­lour.

But while the Tigers were to soon progress to the promised land of the Pre­mier League, Feather­stone’s ca­reer went south.

Af­ter drop­ping down the di­vi­sions, his con­tract was can­celled by Scun­thorpe last Septem­ber and he switched to Con­fer­ence North part­timers Har­ro­gate Town.

Life­line

Fears for his fu­ture in the pro­fes­sional game quickly evap­o­rated, though, when he was of­fered a Foot­ball League life­line by Hartle­pool just a few weeks later.

But with time run­ning out for Ron­nie Moore’s men to climb the ta­ble, Feather­stone has moved to re­it­er­ate the sever­ity of their sit­u­a­tion.

“I had a brief four-game spell play­ing Non-League foot­ball just be­fore I came here and it’s not par­tic­u­larly nice,” said Feather­stone, who also turned out for North Fer­riby United in 2007, dur­ing a loan spell from Hull.

“It was part-time as well, so I know what it is like to drop out the league and I don’t want that. “At this level it tends to be year by year that you are given con­tracts and we are fight­ing for our ca­reers.

“I’m not too wor­ried at the mo­ment, but I’ve been down there and it’s not great.”

Pools have sat bot­tom of the ta­ble for the en­tire time Feather­stone has been in the north-east, but a 1-0 win over AFC Wim­ble­don last week­end sparked hope of a great es­cape.

How­ever, they suc­cumbed to a 2-0 de­feat at fel­low strug­glers Da­gen­ham & Red­bridge on Tues­day night – Feather­stone’s first start in two months – and are yet to reg­is­ter back-to-back vic­to­ries this term.

The re­main­ing 11 league fix­tures do not make for par­tic­u­larly pretty read­ing ei­ther. They still have to play three clubs that were sit­u­ated in the bot­tom six ahead of the week­end’s fix­tures, Carlisle, York and Ox­ford.

But all three of those clashes are away from home and Hartle­pool have picked up just two points away from Vic­to­ria Park since early Oc­to­ber.

Yet Feather­stone hasn’t give up hope of a great es­cape.

“We still be­lieve we can get out of it, we have enough games,” he added. “I’m not sure how many points we will need. We have enough time and games, but we can’t get back-to-back wins at the mo­ment.

“We’re strug­gling to put a run of re­sults to­gether. It is one step for­wards, two steps back. We get a pos­i­tive re­sult, then can’t build on that.

“But it’s in our hands. We’ve got a lot of qual­ity, it is down to self-be­lief. When things are go­ing against you, it’s hard but it is down to us as play­ers and staff to rally to­gether.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

BAT­TLING: Nicky Feather­stone doesn’t want to drop down to Non-League again

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