HARTLEPOOL United legend Joe Allon says it is “almost unbelievable” the club managed to avoid dropping out of the league this season.
And he insists Pools mustn’t repeat the same mistakes from the 2014-15 campaign otherwise their luck will eventually run out.
Survival is an incredible achievementJoe Allon
From the brink of despair, a Ronnie Moore-inspired Pools side turned a 10-point gap to safety around to finish four points clear of the drop-zone.
Allon, a 1991 promotion hero at Pools, has hailed the achievement and the impact Moore has had since joining in mid-December.
The 48-year-old told SportMail: “Survival is an incredible achievement, if you look at where the club was from October to March – bottom of the league and looking dead and buried.
“From being 10 points adrift to safety is just an amazing turnaround and the magnitude of the achievement is almost unbelievable.
“You had your experts and pundits saying they were done and there was no hope.”
Pools escaped relegation with the 2-1 win over Exeter City on the penultimate weekend, with rivals Tranmere Rovers and Cheltenham Town both dropping into the Conference.
Lessons now need to be learned if they are to avoid the need to pull off The Great Escape again, insists Allon.
And the Pools legend says the loyal but long-suffering fans are the most valuable asset the club has.
“The club should never have got itself into this position,” added Allon, who scored 86 goals in 205 starts across two spells for Pools.
“It is easy to say after the event, of course, but it shouldn’t happen to a club like Hartlepool.
“Anyone with any ounce of football knowledge or love will know the fans are the most important thing.
“Without them, you don’t have a football club.
“How many of them could have lost faith? But they didn’t.
“The attendances went up and it was great the club cut the prices in the final weeks but Hartlepool fans are not mugs and won’t put up with going through that again.
“Should it be right to celebrate avoiding relegation?
“In this case, without doubt, but you can’t rely on the Great Escape every time and it will be unforgivable if Hartlepool ever lose their league status.
“Lessons need to be learned, for sure.
“It is not even thinkable or plausible that Hartlepool could lose its league status but it can happen and we got out of it this time by the skin of our teeth.
“Credit were credit is due to the staff and players but for me the fans have been incredible.”
Allon was among the 2,200 reggae-themed Pools fans that travelled to Carlisle United for the season finale, joining supporters on one of the coaches that headed across the A66.
And the former Newcastle United, Swansea and Chelsea star got into the spirit of the occasion, donning his rasta hat.
Allon added: “To be among the Pools fans at Carlisle was unforgettable.
“It was a great day, the atmosphere and behaviour of the fans was impeccable.”