JAMES Poole believes that Hartlepool United have shown enough in recent matches to suggest they are capable of escaping the League One drop zone.
Pools are now nine points from safety and without a win in 16 matches following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Yeovil Town.
But Poole – man-of-the-match at Huish Park – sees reason for positive, pointing to the spirited display against The Glovers as well as the much-improved performance during the 2-0 reverse to league leaders Tranmere Rovers three days earlier.
“We’ve shown that we have the belief to get out of this,” said the 22-year-old forward, who has won back his place in the side under the caretaker charge of Micky Barron.
“We said in the dressing room, ‘if we keep on playing like that then it has to come’.
“We showed on Wednesday there is nothing between first and 24th.
“On too many occasions we have not done ourselves justice, but we’re getting there.
“We need that final little bounce, something to go for us.”
And, when asked directly if Pools can survive, he came back: “We can definitely get out of it.
“Yes, we’ve shown at times why we are down there.
“But I think we’ve also shown why
we’re much better than our position shows.
“We battered a top-10 team on Saturday.
“We have to keep our heads up and keep battling.”
Pools fell behind to a seventh-minute goal from Joe Edwards, only to go on and boss the second period but without reward.
And Poole reflected: “The lads are devastated.
“We started sluggishly. You need to start quicker, especially when you’re going through a bad run.
“You shouldn’t need a goal to kick you into life.
“But in the second half we got at them.
“We were playing through them, round them and were the better team.
“To come away without a point is gutting.
“I believe if we’d scored one we would have gone on to win.”
Pools were denied a second-half penalty when the ball struck the arm of a home defender amid a sea of bodies, appeals waved away by the officials.
But Poole says they cannot use ill fate as an excuse.
“I took the corner and could see it was a penalty,” he said.
“But he didn’t give it and we shouldn’t have to rely on little things like that.
“We were good enough to get a point anyway so to come away with nothing is devastating.”