Dave Jones feels Hartlepool United have developed the right mentality at home – now it’s the time to take that on their travels.
The Pools boss saw his team roll up their sleeves and come from a goal down to beat Exeter City 3-1.
Goals from in-form Lewis Alessandra (2) and Padraig Amond on Saturday extended the unbeaten run at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium to five matches – the club’s best run at home since the early months of 2014 under then boss Colin Cooper.
Pools remain six points clear of the drop zone, following Leyton Orient’s win at bottom club Newport.
Jones has been impressed, especially the last two games where Pools have shown resilience, against Crewe and Exeter, before turning it on with three second-half goals on both occasions.
It was the first time Pools have registered back-to-back wins, but the manager wants this to now be the norm.
“I’ve been told we broke two records, so it’s about time we did it away from home,” he said.
“If someone is going to come into our domain and get something they are going to have to earn it.
“We don’t give anything away, that’s the mentality we are drumming into them.
“Then away from home, it’s a different mentality.
“You have to be dogged and stick it out, earn the right to play.
“But if you can turn your home place into a fortress, then it all helps.”
Jones says Pools have deserved the spoils, not just by the spirit shown but by the shape they have displayed.
And it is that determination and discipline which he hopes will bring rewards when Pools visit Notts County and Cambridge over the next two fixtures.
The rise of the confidence levels in the squad following sevens goals and only one conceded in a five-day spell will also aid the cause.
“If it doesn’t boost the confidence then what the hell I am doing?” said Jones, who said the results have come through hard work and solid preparations.
“Before the game there was a good atmosphere around the place.
“Our patterns of play were good, but we let ourselves down with the final ball at times.
“All we’ve worked on is trying to keep a shape.
“The attacking play will come, but our priority is staying in games.
“The lads have listened and worked hard and that was important for us.
“As we go on we will add more bits and change a few things around and crack the whip a bit more
“I want them walking off the pitch absolutely drained like they did, then you know you have put a shift in, like the other night and in recent games.
“The difference is now performances are bringing results.”
Jones said the ability to stay in touch paved the way for the win over the promotion contenders.
“They were three good finishes, but overall it was a well-deserved victory,” he said.
“Like last Tuesday, it was about staying in the game.
“Away from home we have been two and three down of late and it’s hard, it becomes a case of damage limitation. But at only one you always have a chance.”
Hartlepool Utd: Fryer, Donnelly, Walker, Harrison, Kavanagh (Richardson 29), Woods (Hawkins 58), Featherstone, Alessandra, Oates (Hawkes 90), Amond, Thomas. Subs not used: Bates, Bartlett, Rooney, Orrell. Booked: Thomas. Goals: Alessandra 66 & 90, Amond 69
Exeter: Olejnik, Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor, Woodman (Sweeney 87), Wheeler, James, Taylor (Grant 79), Harley, Reid (McAlinden 65), Watkins. Subs not used: Archibald-Henville, Tillson, Hamon, Croll. Booked: James, Moore-Taylor. Goal: Watkins 14.
Att: 3,775. Ref: Rob Lewis (Shropshire).