JOHN Hughes admits he needs to “come up with something different” in a bid to beat Hartlepool United’s disastrous home form.
In five attempts, the Scot is yet to collect a single point at Victoria Park, that contrasting with seven points from nine on the road.
The home slump stretches back beyond Hughes’s November arrival and, with seven straight defeats, two more would equal an unwanted club record set just last season.
Hughes concedes that the continuation of such a run will inevitably lead to relegation.
But, with last week’s 3-1 victory at Portsmouth fresh in his mind, Hughes believes his side are set to embark on a new dawn at homr – starting with Notts County on Saturday.
“We need to come up with something different at home,” said the Scot.
“The fans come out and back us and I don’t know if we’ve got a trepidation.
“Maybe we need someone to come up with something obscure to put a twist on the atmosphere.
“It’s up to the players to get the supporters going.
“They pay their money and they’re entitled to have a go.
“If we give them something then they’ll get right behind the team.
“But we have to do that first.”
He added: “At Portsmouth it was perfect.
“We gave our fans reason to get right behind us and they did. At the same time, we unsettled their crowd and that worked in our favour.”
Hughes, though, knows that the success of any campaign is invariably built around a team’s home form.
“We have to make Victoria Park a fortress. I’ve said that so many times,” he continued.
“We have to sort our home form out, it’s as simple as that.
“I want them to have the confidence they show in training and even away from home.
“You have to be man enough to do it in front of your own fans when maybe there is a wee bit more pressure. That’s what I’ll be looking for this weekend.”