SIMON Walton admits Hartlepool United are “drinking at the Last Chance Saloon” when it comes to staying afloat in League One.
The 25-year-old has been key to Pools’ recent revival, three wins in six having seen hope spread throughout the town that their club could escape the drop.
But with just 16 games remaining – starting with tomorrow’s trip to Swindon Town – Walton concedes there can be no more winless runs.
“The situation we’re in it’s taken us longer than it should have to start producing this form,” the midfielder told SportMail.
“We’ve realised now ‘this is it, there’s no second chances – it’s Last Chance Saloon stuff’.
“But the belief is there that we can survive.
“There will be ups and downs but we have to use these standards as the benchmark for the rest of the season.
“It’s Swindon next and we seem to do well away from home and have won at the likes of Sheff United and Portsmouth.
“So we’ll take confidence from that this weekend.”
Walton is not concerned by Scunthorpe United’s 2-1 win over Portsmouth on Tuesday night, a result which left Pools 10 points from safety.
“I’m not one for looking at other team’s results, it’s all about us,” said the former Plymouth Argyle skipper.
“I had the same situation last year (at Plymouth) and it’s no good looking at other team’s results if you’re not winning your games.
“We have to concentrate on ourselves and I think you can see that the belief is there now.”
Pools’ back-to-back victories have come at Portsmouth and at home to Notts County last Saturday, the latter bringing to an end a five-month wait for three points at the Vic.
And Walton went on: “We said at the weekend that the main thing was to carry on from the previous week.
“It’s that old favourite ‘momentum’.
“That’s two wins on the bounce and we have to keep that going.
“It’s a relief for me personally and for the team to get that home win and give the fans something to shout about.
“It meant a lot to every one of us.
“We’ve gone a little way to getting the fans on side now – we have to keep it that way.”