HARTLEPOOL boss John Hughes believes Paolo Di Canio is using the current situation at Swindon to create a siege mentality around the club.

The Town manager’s position at the County Ground remains in doubt after the sale of Matt Ritchie and the club’s inability to sign three players on deadline day, while the consortium led by Banbury United owner Jed McCrory is still waiting to finalise a takeover of the club.

Hughes believes his opposite number will be using Town’s situation to inspire the Swindon players, but insisted the game holds no fear for his improving side.

“I’ve been in that situation at Falkirk and sometimes it can create a siege mentality,” he said. “Knowing Paolo as I do, he’s a clever guy who could start a fight in an empty house, but he can use that to make them feel that everyone is against them.

“We have to be guarded about what we’re up against.

“But we have our own siege mentality so the ingredients are there for a good football match. Nothing should hold any fear for us right now. They have obviously got ambition to make the automatic promotion places and we’re fighting for our lives.

“We’ll be having a real, good go and I just think our mindset and togetherness right now will mean any team knows they have been in a right good game.”

Hughes is likely to keep faith with the same side which triumphed against Portsmouth and Notts County, after United’s bid for survival was sparked by three wins in six.

“We said two weeks ago it was 18 cup finals – we’ve won two of them,” he went on. “But even if we get beat we will dust ourselves down and go again.”