sport

Hughes won't get carried away

Hartlepool moved off the bottom of the League One table on Saturday but John Hughes admits the hard work is still to come.

Pools leapfrogged over Portsmouth with two goals in the closing minutes to complete the most unlikely of turnarounds at Victoria Park.

Peter Hartley's late header cancelled out Martin Rowland's seventh-minute penalty opener. Then, four minutes into five minutes of injury time, substitute Luke James drilled in a low volley to make it five games without defeat for Pools.

"We scored in the 94th minute - fantastic. It was a fantastic strike on the half-volley and it's so nice to see if fly in," admitted Hughes.

"I felt we deserved something and had them hemmed in. They would only get something on the counter-attack and we got plenty in the box. Fair play to the guys for the spirit. The ground was bouncing at the end, that's what we want.

"We don't get carried away, just enjoy the taste of winning. It keeps the run going and it's important we do that."

Pools have won four of their last nine games and sit eight points shy of League One safety. It is still a tall order, but one they are now relishing.

"I got pelters from one guy behind the dugouts all day - when we scored the winner I got a kiss!" Hughes laughed. "But the fans go away delighted, enjoy an extra pint, and it makes everyone feel better for it.

"It's so pleasing, the players have responded to the challenge ahead of us. All I keep saying is 'give yourself a chance'.

"We are off the bottom, there's some big games to come and we get carried away when we score, but it's nice so go and enjoy it."