CAPTAIN Scott Flinders hopes Hartlepool United have now hit “rock bottom” and can finally start to turn the season around.
Dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Blyth Spartans, bottom of the Football League and now searching for their third manager of the season following Paul Murray’s sacking.
The 2014-15 campaign has been one to forget so far for Pools and their long-suffering supporters.
Stopper Flinders hopes the club have now hit rock bottom and says they owe it to the fans to start picking up results quickly.
Next up is a tricky away match at promotion-chasing Burton Albion, fourth in Sky Bet League Two, this Saturday.
“We need to start picking up results to get ourselves going a bit,” Flinders told SportMail.
“There is only one way we can go from here and we need to show real character.
“We are at rock bottom – no two ways about it.
“The only way is up though and we started at the weekend working towards Burton.
“We need to put this right and to give something back to the supporters.
“They do not deserve this at all.”
Flinders described defeat to Blyth, from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, as the “worst moment of his career” in the aftermath of the match.
He said the players, now under the guidance of caretaker boss Sam Collins, are the only ones who can turn the situation around
The 28-year-old said: “It is down to us players, we step over that white line.
“We are prepared brilliantly Monday to Friday to go and face battle.
“We did our homework against Blyth – everything you could thing of – and we worked on our own style of play which showed in the first half.
“But it is also about us being brave mentality, both on and off the ball.”
Jonathan Franks opened the scoring against Tom Wade’s Spartans with a close-range header two-yards from goal to give Murray’s side a 1-0 half-time lead.
But a superb free-kick from Stephen Turnbull followed by Jarrett Rivers’ 90th minute winner sealed a dramatic win at The Vic in front of the BBC cameras.
Reflecting on the defeat, Flinders added: “That is the ‘joy’ of the FA Cup really.
“They brought a lot of fans with them and will have got a lift through that.
“We were struggling and sometimes that is all you need.
“The free-kick was good, it is the sort of thing that goes against you when you are struggling.
“Come December and the turn of the year hopefully we can have a bit of luck in our favour.”
l TICKETS for the weekend trip to promotion chasing Burton Albion are now on sale.
Pools head to Burton on Saturday, December 13 (KO 3pm) and the home side have sent an initial allocation of 380 seating tickets for the match at the Pirelli Stadium.
They will remain available until 2pm on Friday, December 12, after which they will be on sale on the turnstiles at Burton.
Adult tickets cost £18, over 65s £16, young person (17-22) £16 and under 16s £8.