HARTLEPOOL United’s season hinges on tomorrow night’s home match with Accrington Stanley, admits boss Ronnie Moore.
Pools remain out of the bottom two by a single point despite the 1-0 defeat at York City, courtesy of a deflected Luke Summerfield strike.
Accrington is massive, it is our seasonRonnie Moore
Sky Bet League Two relegation rivals Tranmere Rovers and Cheltenham Town both lost again to leave Pools third-bottom.
But Moore knows sooner or later they will start picking up points, making a win against Stanley at Victoria Park (KO 7.45pm) even more crucial.
“We are lucky we came off and everything was the same but we cannot keep doing that,” said Moore.
“Sooner or later, one or both of those sides below us will start picking up points.
“So, Accrington is massive – it is our season – without doubt because Tranmere and Cheltenham both won’t lose again tomorrow night.
“It is down to what we do against a good footballing side who will come and have a go.”
A recent revival under Moore has shuddered to a halt over the past week, back-to-back 1-0 defeats has seen a nervousness return to the playing squad.
Once York had gone down to 10-men, Pools dominated the play in front of 2,000 travelling supporters, before Summerfield struck.
But Moore’s men were then unable to find a way through a stubborn York backline.
“It was quiet in the dressing room – despite the noise outside – and we looked nervous,” said Moore.
“That was the first time I had seen that in one or two of the players.
“The sending off lifted the York crowd but we haven’t given ours too much to shout about.
“We needed a goal or a performance that is going to make them shout because they came in their droves again.
“If you can’t go out there and play and give it everything you have got, then something is wrong.”
Having spent so long propping up the rest of the division, Moore said the nerves might be down to a different kind of pressure now facing his players.
Moore told SportMail: “I wish I knew what caused that nervousness, has the occasion got to them?
“Are one or two nervous now we are out the bottom two?
“I don’t know, this is new to us. So how do we handle it?
“They dealt with being in the bottom two because there is no pressure there, everything is up from there.
“We have worked hard to get out of that situation but one or two just looked like the game passed them by.
“They didn’t play or produce the standard we have been having just recently.”
Reading loanee Aaron Tshibola struggled against Russ Wilcox’s side, despite seeing plenty of the ball in central midfield.
Though when asked about his performance, Moore was loathe to single out individuals.
He added: “Tish had one of them where every decision he made was wrong.
“But you need people like him to come to the fore now.
“He has been fantastic for us and you cannot single anybody out. It is a team effort.”