Ronnie Moore hopes to see Hartlepool United translate promise into points as they prepare for their third Victoria Park game in a row.
After digging out what appeared an unlikely victory in extra-time of their FA Cup replay over Salford City, Pools made a huge step forward against Plymouth Argyle.
Unfortunately for Moore, it was not reflected in Saturday’s scoreline.
The home side conceded a last-gasp goal to promotion-chasing Argyle, who nicked it 2-1 with a late, late Kelvin Mellor strike, just minutes after Scott Fenwick had seemingly grabbed a hard-earned point for his team from the penalty spot.
Next up for Pools is a clash with Notts County on Saturday – a victory is crucial after slipping one place to 21st in the League Two table.
“We need that same spirit against Notts County, but hopefully a bit more nous and may be create one or two more chances,” said Moore.
“But it’s down to us, there is only us who can change it.
“It’s down to us to show that attitude, commitment and organisation again.”
Moore will be looking to bring in new talent when the transfer window re-opens next month.
His top priority is a striker – no side in League Two has scored fewer goals. But until he can find a goal-scorer he said it’s vital the side must carry on in the same battling vein and try to grind out results.
“It was better than Tuesday, miles better, there was no way we deserved to lose it,” he said, reflecting of defeat to Plymouth, who regained top spot with their late success.
“I’m not saying it was Real Madrid, but If we play and perform, like that, show that spirit and character, it will hopefully start to fall for us.
“One or two of the side are not quite showing their true form, but, overall, we deserved something and I’m gutted for them.
“We lost it because we could not manage the game out. We gave away the ball from a throw-in, our throw, and two square balls caught us out and it ends up in the back of our net. It was soul-destroying.
“I could not fault the lads for graft, determination and passion.
“We shot ourselves in the foot, again, when we needed to hang on in there and see it out.
“You can’t make mistakes like that in those areas. There are a lot of inexperienced lads but the players have to learn and learn quickly.”
Moore believes there was little to choose between the two teams.
Hartlepool: Carson, Harrison, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Gray (Mandron 81), Featherstone, Woods, Naismith, Fenwick, Oates (Bingham 55). Subs not used: Walker, Oyenuga, Bartlett, Richards, Smith. Booked: Gray. Goal: Fenwick 84 pen
Plymouth: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, Sawyer, McHugh, Threlkeld, Jervis (Tyler Harvey 65), Tanner, Wylde (Purrington 86), Brunt (Smalley 90). Subs not used: Bentley, Hall, Rooney, Walton. Booked: Mellor. Goals: McHugh 76, Mellor 90.
Att: 3,534. Ref: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).