Humphreys eyes top-six surge

Long-serving defender wants positive finish to the season

Humphreys: Wants play-off spot

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Hartlepool United's long-serving defender Ritchie Humphreys has set his sights on leading the club into the play-offs this season.

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Pools climbed back into the top half of the table with an impressive 3-0 over Brentford on Saturday and are currently just eight points off the top six.

Humphreys, who made his 474th appearance for the club on Saturday, has revealed that fighting for a top-six finish makes a refreshing change from their usual battle to beat the drop.

"Since we have been back in this division the last three seasons have been a real struggle for us towards the end of the season," Humphreys told skysports.com.

Confident

"We've been looking over our shoulder going into April almost every year, with last season going to the final day after our points deduction, but previous to that when we were in League One we managed to get into the play-offs two years running, which was a fantastic achievement.

"So, to get back to that stage this season would be great for everyone connected with the football club because no one wants to be biting their nails with the threat of relegation looming over your head every year.

"We had a fantastic December, with Mick (Wadsworth) getting manager of the month and Sam Collins picking up player of the month and we were one of the form teams in the league, but January was a month to forget and February was hit and miss, so it is consistency that we are looking for.

"To have any chance of being in the play-offs you have got to be consistent and that inconsistency can keep you anchored in mid-table and always looking over your shoulder towards the bottom four.

"We are trying to remain confident because there is nothing stopping us from putting another good run together like we did in December and if we do that then we can push strongly for the rest of the season."

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