VICTORY is the only outcome Peter Hartley is willing to consider ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Crawley Town – and the skipper is prepared to get “nasty” to achieve it.
The 24-year-old believes Pools need to unearth a ruthless streak if they are to drag themselves clear of the League One relegation zone.
They are currently just one from bottom going into the home clash with Ritchie Barker’s Red Devils, Tuesday’s 1-0 reverse at Leyton Orient extending their winless run to 10 games.
And a passionate Harley today sounded: “The lack of fight wasn’t good enough on Tuesday.
“We can’t offer any excuses.
“We’re professional footballers and we need to do a job for Hartlepool United.
“If that means going about it in a ruthless and nasty manner then so be it.
“I don’t think enough people are nasty.
“We allow the opposition to pick up far too much.
“Big Stevie Howard is doing brilliantly for us up front but we just don’t get any second balls off him.
“We’ve just got to be a whole lot better because that on Tuesday was awful.”
Hartley has inherited the armband in recent weeks following Sam Collins’ demotion to the bench.
And the Pools-born centre-back is confident he can help lead his side from a slump which is threatening to ruin the entire campaign.
“We have to stick together,” said Hartley.
“We work hard every day and there are no bad eggs in there, I assure you of that.
“The ability is there without a doubt, I think we should be in the top 10.
“Some teams have been in worse situations than us and have recovered to finish in the top 10.
“It’s not like we’re getting battered at the moment and we’ve lost so many points from being in the lead.
“So nothing more than three points will do tomorrow.
“It’s a massive thing for us at home and we’ve got to come out and prove ourselves.”