JOHN Hughes has hatched a survival plan for Hartlepool United – but he admits the stalemate with 10-man Colchester United was “two points dropped”.
The Scot had devised a projected points return from each of the 11 remaining matches prior to last night’s visit of the U’s.
And, while the draw takes Pools above Bury into 22nd and to within seven points of safety, Hughes says his overriding emotion today is still one of disappointment.
“I’m bitterly disappointed, not with the performance but with the two points dropped,” he told SportMail, the visit of promotion-chasing Yeovil Town next up on Saturday.
“Two points have certainly got away from us and there is no point in hiding that disappointment.
“We’ve looked at the games coming up and have put points on what we hope to get.
“If we can match that then I’ve said we’ll still be in there battling away.
“But in this league we can all beat each other.
“Win on Saturday against Yeovil and this might become a good point.
“We’re still in there and from what it was like when I joined this club I can see the change in spirit, the lads were so disappointed not to have won.
“There is a real willingness to keep us in this league.
“I cannot criticise them for effort and commitment.”
Pools played the entirety of the second half against 10 men after Colchester striker Jabo Ibehre was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Neil Austin.
Hughes felt referee Geoff Eltringham got the decision wrong.
But he was nonetheless frustrated that his side failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage, a James Poole effort which cracked the crossbar and a late Nathan Luscombe shot which was saved the closest they came.