Match-winner Gary Liddle admits the Hartlepool United players had a point to prove to the club’s supporters ahead of last night’s 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic.
Pools had been stuffed 4-1 at league leaders Brighton three days earlier in a performance littered with defensive calamities.
The squad endured a soul-searching six-hour coach trip back to the North-East and Liddle says they emerged from their weekend nightmare with a resolve to show the fans how much they cared.
“This was a huge win coming off the back of Brighton where we completely underperformed,” he told SportMail.
“We knew that wasn’t acceptable and we wanted to show the fans that we do care.
“The long trip back didn’t help at all because it was such a disappointing day for us.
“But we’ve made a habit of bouncing back, like we did against Colchester last week and this was similar.
“We got the fundamentals right, such as tackling, passing and winning headers and it worked for us.
“The team spirit came into play again and we made a point coming into this game of how desperate we were for the three points which could maybe put us on another run.”
It was Liddle who netted his fifth of the season to ensure the home supporters went home happy.
The goal was the 24-year-old’s fifth of the season and arguably his most important.
It arrived in the 62nd minute, Evan Horwood delivering the deep corner from which he rose to head back across goal and into the bottom corner.
And the midfielder added: “We’ve worked on a few things on corners and Mick’s made a point of me being around that back-post area.
“We haven’t scored enough from corners recently so to get that goal I’m sure will please him.
“But it was another good ball from Evan and I just tried my best to steer it away from the keeper.
“Thankfully it’s gone through a couple of bodies and into the back of the net.
“It was important we got back in front quickly because we felt we’d been the better team.
“We’d made a great start and were unlucky not to be more ahead by the time they equalised.
“But we showed good character to come back and I’m delighted it was myself who was there to get the winning goal.”
For a full report on Pools V Charlton, see today’s Mail.