Craig Hignett is adamant that Hartlepool United’s season is not doomed to failure.
The Pools boss believes something can be salvaged from the wreckage of last weekend’s dismal FA Cup exit.
The club were knocked out of their third competition of the campaign on Sunday, suffering a 4-0 humbling at the hands of League One Port Vale.
But all is not lost, according to the former Middlesbrough assistant.
Although Pools sit 18th in the League Two table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Portsmouth, they are still just two wins off the the top seven.
And that is a fact that Hignett, despite all of the negativity around the club at the moment, is drilling into his players.
He said: “The league is so tight. It has been all ifs and buts for us this season.
“Winning consecutive games is what we need to do. But I have been saying that all season.
“A run will take you right up the table. It is still there for us this season.
“We have got to improve on certain aspects of our game if we are to get towards the top.”
Home form has been an issue for Pools under Hignett, while away performances have been decent.
There has been a recent shift though, and the long-awaited wins are starting to come at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium, where Cambridge are the visitors on Saturday, while Pools’ form on the road has taken a severe dip.
On the club’s performances at the Vic this campaign, Hignett said: “We have a belief that we can win at home, but performances haven’t been as bad as the result suggested.
“We should have won before we did as we played well at times.
“It’s finally come together at home and now it’s about putting home and away form together and starting a decent run.
“There’s nothing in the league and we don’t feel we have clicked properly yet and when we do we will go on a run.
“Last year we went five wins on the bounce, do that now and it’s a play-off spot.
“We weren’t winning at home, but displays have been generally good and there’s belief in how we can play, but when it’s going against you it can be tough.”