Dave Jones insisted it was vital Hartlepool United kept their heads above League Two’s relegation waters going into Monday’s must-win game at Leyton Orient.
Pools fought back to grab a 1-1 home draw with Carlisle yesterday.
The Cumbrians took a seventh-minute lead through Jabo Ibehre and when Mickey Demetriou’s second-half free-kick put Newport 1-0 up against Yeovil, Pools briefly found themselves facing slipping into the bottom two.
However, Rhys Oates showed tremendous determination to hit Pools’ vital equaliser in the 65th minute. It meant Pools stayed above the Football League trapdoor, but only by a point over Newport – with four games to go.
“The lads are hanging on in there and that’s the most important thing,” said Jones. “Our luck will change, things will start to go for us, but we have to earn that, to turn it around.
“We’ve just had two hard games, at a club fighting for their own lives and against a team fighting at the other end of the league and we’ve picked up two vital points. It was crucial [to stay above County].
“Newport are on a little roll, but they are down there for a reason. They’ve not had a fantastic season – they are like us, been up and down. It was important not to lose to Carlisle.”
Jones felt the draw against Keith Curle’s team was a point gained rather than two points dropped. “I think so,” he said “Last Saturday at Morecambe, it was more two points dropped.
“Here against a team in the play-offs, trying to get out of the division, it was a point earned. You couldn’t fault them for effort.”
Jones admits the relegation fight could go all the way to the wire, with already-promoted Doncaster the last-day visitors.
But the Pools boss says a win for his team could change the whole picture.
“It can do, but you never know,” he said. “We win and someone draws and we could move up two places, that’s how crazy it is.”
Hartlepool Utd: Fryer, Richardson (Magnay 37), Walker, Harrison, Donnelly, Woods, Featherstone, Alessandra, Oates, Amond, Thomas. Subs not used: Bates, Deverdics, Hawkins, Rooney, Dudzinski, Rodney. Booked: Donnelly. Goal: Oates 65
Carlisle: Gillespie, Brisley, Liddle, Raynes, Grainger, Bailey, Joyce, O’Sullivan (Lambe 50), Devitt, Proctor (Waring 70), Ibehre. Subs not used: Gillesphey, Crocombe, Joachim, Nabi, Tomlinson. Booked: Joyce, Proctor, Ibehre, Devitt. Goal: Ibehre 7
Att: 5,011. Ref: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire).