Life is suddenly looking up for Hartlepool United – and Craig Hignett is determined to make sure Pools are no longer looking over their shoulders.
Pools will host League Two’s bottom club Dagenham & Redbridge this Saturday at Victoria Park in a crucial 22nd v 24th basement battle.
They will start the day five points above the drop zone and Hignett is looking to put some breathing space between his side and danger.
Pools go into the game with confidence restored thanks to a tremendous 3-1 weekend win at Barnet, thanks to brilliant goals by Lewis Hawkins (2) and Nathan Thomas.
“It’s no good looking over your shoulder,” said Hignett.
“I don’t want to be doing that – I want to be looking up.
“I have seen things in our performances so far and we shouldn’t be where we are.
“We should be further up the table and hopefully this will kick-start a little run.
“We have a big home game now on Saturday against Dagenham & Redbridge.
“There’s no reason why this win can’t be a catapult for us. Barnet have been going well and have a good home record.
“To have gone to Barnet and done what we did, I’m delighted.”
Clearly, a five-point gap over York and a seven-point difference to the Daggers – who beat the Minstermen 1-0 on Saturday – are not exactly mountains to climb.
But Hignett hopes the impressive victory at the Hive against one of League Two’s form teams can act as a springboard.
Pools have 14 games to go and, while only six are at home, he believes they can put together a sequence of results.
“We are five points ahead of the bottom two, with two and three games in hand on them,” said he manager.
“Stevenage are just three points above us and we have three games in hand on them – things are starting to look better. A win or three on the bounce and you can start looking up the table.”
Hignett added: “Results have sort of gone for us. Dagenham beat York and if you wanted a winner out of those two it would have been Dagenham.
“But I’m not really bothered about what anyone else does.
“We’ve got games in hand and if we can keep playing like we did on Saturday and continue to improve then we will be all right.”
Barnet: Stephens, Yiadom, N’Gala, Nelson, Johnson, Shomotun, Randall (Muggleton 54), Togwell (Gambin 61), Weston, Roberts (Stevens 54), Akinde. Subs not used: Champion, McKenzie-Lyle, Sesay, Pearson. Booked: Nelson, Muggleton. Goal: Shomotun 11.
Hartlepool: Carson, Magnay, Rob Jones, Bates, Carroll, James, Gray (Woods 75), Featherstone, Hawkins (Walker 87), Thomas (Oates 78), Paynter. Subs not used: Bartlett, Fenwick, Richards, Dan Jones. Booked: Magnay. Goals: Hawkins 34, 40, Thomas 62.
Att: 1,734. Ref: Darren Handley (Lancashire).