Craig Harrison hails organisation and belief of Hartlepool United players after victory at Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 September 2017
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O’s enjoyed a lot of possession during the second half of Saturday’s match, but couldn’t break down the visitors
Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison praised his players for regaining their composure to claim a 2-1 win at Leyton Orient having fell behind in the first half.
Jobi McAnuff put the O’s in front at Brisbane Road with 19 minutes played after David Mooney had been denied by away goalkeeper Scott Loach.
Orient had chances to get another goal, with Macauley Bonne hitting the post, but failed to take them and Pools punished their wastefulness in additional time.
Jonathan Franks volleyed home emphatically following a Nicky Deverdics free kick and Hartlepool then took the lead straight after the break when Rhys Oates headed in another Deverdics set-piece with 47 minutes on the clock.
Harrison said: “It probably could have been two or three before we got the goal back, but we dusted ourselves down and got our composure back and what a time to score – one or two minutes before half time.
“It gave us the opportunity to change it during the break and tweak little things, which we did, and the players responded unbelievably.”
Franks’ equaliser appeared to knock the spirit of Orient, as they came out lacklustre for the start of the second 45.
It was therefore not much of a surprise to see Hartlepool take the lead straight after the restart and Harrison was then thrilled to see so much desire and effort from his players after they went 2-1 up.
He added: “We did defend for our lives for the next 40 minutes after the second goal, but I don’t want to do unjust to the lads either.
“The organisation and the belief in each other plus the understanding of plugging holes, getting across to cover and to keep talking was just brilliant to see.
“We dropped off when we had to and then squeezed at the right times and also, we were a threat on the counter-attack and there were two or three times where we got in.
“Had we had a bit more luck or better quality in those situations then we could have gone on and scored three or four.
“Leyton Orient were on the front foot at this point though, and had nothing to lose, so we knew it was going to be tough, but I’ll take a 2-1 victory every day.”