Fear relegation but don’t fear the R-word.
That was the assessment of boss Dave Jones as Hartlepool United enter the last six games of the season.
Pools are only five points above the bottom two going into tomorrow’s League Two trip to Morecambe.
Jones said far from the R-word NOT being banned, he wants the players to be fully aware of the difficult situation.
“The players pick up a paper or you guys mention it to them, so why hide from it?
“I remember once pushing for promotion at one of my previous clubs and someone said ‘we can’t use the P word’.
“I said ‘why not? That’s what we’re going for’.
“Is it a voodoo or superstitious?
“That’s what we’re aiming for, so let’s talk about it.
“Do they think by not saying it that players won’t think about it every day?”
Jones says the Pools squad have the club’s destiny in their hands and believes previous battles against the drop can only help at this business end of the season.
“The players have the responsibility to do something about it,” he said.
“We know where we are – we can’t avoid the R-word being mentioned.
“It’s possible, so I say put the onus on them, and say we are in it.
“There’s an experience of being it over a period of time so we have to use every little bit of that experience we have.
“It’s something we have to draw on and make sure we don’t get caught.
“It’s in our hands at the moment and that’s the best way to be.”
Pools have shown flashes of form in the last three matches against high-ranking teams and tomorrow starts a batch of games with clubs not in the best of touches.
“We’ve got to be looking to get points on the board,” said Jones.