Pools have struggled recently, with one win in their last five league games, for a side who is looking to get promoted this is not good enough.

A 4-0 loss to Bromley at the weekend was the icing on the cake – Peter Kioso was shown red in that game.

With Bromley totally outclassing Pools all game and due to sloppy defence work and were awarded two penalties.

Hartlepool play a 3-5-2 system which was working earlier on but not no more as there is a distinct lack of quality in the final third.

Matthew Bates has opted to play Luke James and Niko Muir together as the striker but both are too similar to each other for the system to really work.

He has tried to change this in the previous two fixtures with Marcus Dinanga coming in for James but this has not proven effective either.

Jake Cassidy was sent out on loan earlier in the season when Pools were doing well but he could have been the answer to the problems.

A large, physical, target-man who is willing to get into the box for the wingbacks and not come short every time.

Pools have only scored 20 goals this season with James only finding the net once, the bottom line is that it is not good enough for where Hartlepool would want to be.

Ryan Donaldson has been forced to play an unfamiliar wingback role this season and although he has done well there, it is time for a change.

Pools should revert back to a back four at the weekend, as they should be looking to test Gillingham away in the FA Cup.

Marc Kitching has struggled at left wing back (also an unfamiliar position to him) so it would do him a favour to play him in a more natural role.

Pools are short on wingers so maybe a 4-3-3 could be a risk but I feel it would be the best way to go.

Things need to change desperately if a return to the Football League is on the cards next season, and they need to change now.