HARTLEPOOL haven't played in a fortnight, but their frontmen have been putting in overtime in the build-up to tonight's key League I clash with Town.
Boss Paul Stephenson, who suffered the frustration of a postponement at Scunthorpe last Saturday, has held extra training sessions with them to try and pep up the goals tally and take advantage of Town's recent leakiness.
The Victoria Park showdown is crucial to both clubs, but for different reasons.
While promotion-chasing Town are seeking the win which would put them back into second (for 24 hours at least), Pool are battling a return to the basement division they have inhabited for most of their Football League life.
The last two seasons were the most successful in the history of the club, who were founded in 1908 (the same year as Town) and entered the League in 1921.
Having been promoted from what was then the Third Division in 2003, they reached the play-offs in both 2004, when they lost to Bristol City in the semi-finals, and 2005, when they beat Tranmere to book a Millennium Stadium meeting with Sheffield Wednesday, who won 4-2 after extra-time.
But this season, it's been a different story.
Pool have been struggling too near the foot of the table for comfort, and manager Martin Scott, who replaced Neale Cooper in the close-season, left after a dressing room bust-up.
That followed a 3-0 home defeat by Blackpool on January 28.
Since then, former youth coach Stephenson has enjoyed an unbeaten run of four games, with Pool drawing 0-0 at Rotherham and Tranmere while chalking up a 1-0 home win over Chesterfield before drawing 1-1 with Doncaster.
Those results show that goals have proved hard to come by, and a League I tally of 31 by the fifth- bottom side is the lowest in the 24-club division, four of whom will be relegated.
Homegrown Adam Boyd and former Torquay player Eifion Williams have been Stephenson's frontline choices so far.
But it seems changes may be in the offing, with Michael Proctor, a former Sunderland player who has spent time on loan at both Halifax and Bradford, pressing for a recall.
The 25-year-old rattled a hat trick in a recent 5-2 friendly win over Gretna, and wasn't played in Wednesday's 5-1 Reserve win over Scunthorpe, suggesting Stephenson wanted to keep him fresh.
David Foley, who scored twice for the second team, and Aussie Joel Porter provide further options.
Proctor, who had fallen out of favour with Scott, seems the likeliest man to come in, however, with Stephenson confirming: "I don't have any preconceptions regarding players, and Michael has worked hard to try and get back in."
Hartlepool (from): Konstantopoulos, Williams (D), Humphreys, Clark, Nelson, Llewellyn, Bullock, Turnbull, Clarke, Boyd, Williams (E), Sweeney, Robson, Tinkler, Provett, Foley, Proctor, Istead, Maidens, Porter, Barron.
Town (from): Senior, Mirfin, Holdsworth, Smith, Adams, McIntosh, Clarke (N), Brandon, Worthington, Hudson, Collins, Ahmed, Taylor-Fletcher, Schofield, Booth, Graham, McAliskey, Rachubka.
Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire).