ANDY Monkhouse is hoping that both he and Hartlepool United emerge from the two-week break ready to kick-start their season.
The 32-year-old has watched from the sidelines in recent weeks as his side’s fortunes have continued to falter.
Monkhouse suffered ankle-ligament damage at Crewe Alexandra in early October.
Since then Pools have failed to win in 13 attempts and have slumped to the bottom of League One.
Monkhouse returned to the starting line-up for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Walsall, a point which keeps them within 10 of safety.
And the long-serving midfielder told SportMail today: “We have to believe we can get out of it – if we don’t then we might as well throw the towel in now.
“I’ve said that it’s about time that we shut up and started showing it on the pitch.
“I can stand here all day and say we’re going to do this, that and the other – but hopefully this (the draw at Walsall) will be a start.”
Pools are not in action this weekend having been dumped out of the FA Cup by League Two Chesterfield.
New boss John Hughes will be using the free fortnight to get his ideas across, and Monkhouse believes that can be a good thing.
“The next two weeks are important – although we’d rather be playing in the FA Cup,” he said.
“The new gaffer can work on the way he wants to play football with us – then it’s up to us to do that against Stevenage (a week on Saturday).
“The break has probably come at a good time for him.
“It would have been nice to go off with a win, but the way it’s been going we’ll take a draw.
“If we don’t build on this then there’s only one outcome.”
He went on: “But the gaffer has been good.
“It’s a different voice and a different face for the players.
“He has beliefs and a philosophy on football and we have to take that on board now.”