CURLE: WE ARE STILL IN THE MIX
CARLISLE have stopped the rot and are looking upwards once more; that’s according to manager Keith Curle.
A point at Hartlepool means the Cumbrians have taken four points from a possible nine – after a horror run of seven successive defeats without scoring.
Despite that run of results they remain in the top seven and inside the play-off zone.
They take on Stevenage on Monday, who could be possible play-off opponents come the end of the season.
And Curle, with his side just two points ahead of eighth-placed Blackpool, said: “Winning that on Monday would make this a great point. We are still in the play-offs.
“The players are showing they’re giving everything and hopefully we’ll have great backing from the fans like we did here.”
While Pools boss Dave Jones alluded to problems in the Cumbrians’ camp, Curle added: “We have a great unity and the players are sticking together.
“This is the time of the season players earn their crust, and try to get up to the next level. It’s a good point away from home in the end.
“These are nervy games. They’re fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table.
“It’s a local derby and, given it’s squeaky bum time at the end of the season, it isn’t going to be a great spectacle.’’
The visitors went ahead on seven minutes as striker Jabo Ibehre turned in the area from a quick throw in and slotted neatly through the legs of keeper Joe Fryer.
Pools were terrible in the first half as they produced a flat display.
But they got a leveller from nothing on the hour mark.
Rhys Oates charged down a clearance from Danny Grainger, picked up the loose ball and curled it low past keeper Mark Gillespie. The goal lifted the home side as they made a real game of it.
But they were indebted to some frantic defending late on as Ibehre hit a post and Liam Donnelly flung himself in the way of a goal-bound Michael Raynes shot, the defender earlier denied by a fine Fryer save.
Pools, a point ahead of Newport in 22nd, go to Orient tomorrow and boss Jones said: “It was two points dropped last week, but against a team in the play-offs to get out of the division here, it was a point earned. “It was difficult, rumours flying around the place all day. We were edgy, nervous and free-kicks we practised all week, two players remember it, one doesn’t and it frustrated you. “You couldn’t fault them for their effort and driving forward and that’s all you can ask for. “They showed determination and grit when it really mattered most.”
LEVELLER: Hartlepool goalscorer Rhys Oates and Nathan Thomas enjoy the equaliser
IT’S MINE: Jabo Ibehre takes control