IF Hartlepool United are to stay up this season they have to be “ruthless” against teams around them – starting with York City tomorrow.
That is the view of Reading loanee Aaron Tshibola, who says his Pools team-mates need to take the game to the Minstermen at Bootham Crescent.
It is a crunch clash, arguably the match of the weekend in Sky Bet League Two as third-bottom Pools travel to York, with Russell Wilcox’s side far from safe themselves sitting 19th.
Just five points separate the two teams and Tshibola knows Ronnie Moore’s side must not lose against their relegation rivals – even though he is keen to play down the importance of the game.
The 20-year-old told SportMail: “This is a massive game and there is a lot of hype surrounding it but we have to treat it just like any other.
“We have to put the same importance on it as Newport and Southend.
“But they are also down there with us and these are the types of games we need to be winning.
“These are the bread and butter matches for us.
“When we go to the sides near to us, we have to be putting them away and be ruthless in how we approach it.”
Pools will be backed by 2,000 supporters after the away end quickly sold out for the short trip down the A19.
And Tshibola is hoping for another rendition of his new song ‘Tshi-bo-la’ to the tune of Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’.
He added: “It will feel like a home game, there will be that many of our fans!
“Loads of our fans are going down and it should be one hell of a game and we want to put on a great show for those travelling.
“The fans have been brilliant to me and the team – you can see how much it means to them.
“They never stop singing and it should be a brilliant day.
“Morecambe was the first time I heard the song, I came off the pitch and the lads were all buzzing about it.
“It is a really good song and I appreciate it from them.
“Since I have been here, they have made me feel very welcome and it is like home for me.
“It pushes me on and gives me the confidence.”
The London-born central midfielder has 18 appearances to his name since joining on loan at the start of January, starting every match under Moore.
He came to the club to experience the “highs and lows” of professional football.
And he has certainly managed that, with Pools overcoming a nine-point gap to safety to now being a point above the drop zone.
“We can take a lot out of the games we have played and while we were unfortunate to lose against Southend, we can still take a lot from it,” added Tshibola.
“A few more performances like that and we will be fine.
“Everyone can see for themselves that they gave everything and the lads gave 100 per cent and that is all we can do.
“As long as we do that, then everything else will take care of itself.
“I came here to play football and experience the highs and the lows and I have certainly done that!”