Jake Carroll: Hartlepool defender's mindset improved by sports psychologist

Jake Carroll
Jake Carroll joined Hartlepool United from Huddersfield Town last summer

Hartlepool United defender Jake Carroll says a sports psychologist has helped him to refocus his attitude towards football.

Carroll, 24, has made 36 appearances for Pools this season after joining the club from Huddersfield last summer.

"At the start of the season I coasted along, played well at times, but there was no consistency," he told BBC Tees.

"I had the ability but I didn't believe it. I thought I was doing ok, but looking back, ok isn't good enough."

Hartlepool are only one place above the League Two relegation places after losing 4-1 to Bristol Rovers, but Carroll is optimistic about making a positive contribution moving forwards.

"We had a sports psychology team come in and they spoke to the team as a whole and I saw them personally," he continued.

"My mindset wasn't right and I came to realise how important the psychological part of the game is and I refocused on my own game and jobs, I thought if I play well myself the rest will come."

Despite a poor season, which saw former manager Ronnie Moore sacked after a string of bad results, Pools reached the third round of the FA Cup before being knocked out by Championship side Derby County.

"The Derby game [in the FA Cup], is when the turn happened. That is probably my best game at the time and I've gone on to play better since then," Carroll added.

"I've got a lot of confidence, especially with Craig [Hignett] coming in, he helps build that confidence in you."