SIMON Walton says Hartlepool United will have to overcome their lingering sense of regret if they are to escape relegation to League Two.
The 25-year-old admits there is an overriding feeling of frustration in the Clarence Road dressing-room.
A seven-match unbeaten run which led to monthly honours for manager John Hughes and skipper Peter Hartley was followed by an eight-game stretch without a goal.
It has left Walton and co bemoaning an inconsistency which they fear will cost them their League One status.
Nonetheless, while hope remains, Walton insists Pools must bury that anguish.
“We have let ourselves down in recent weeks having given ourselves a real chance,” he told SportMail ahead of tomorrow’s trip to seventh-placed Tranmere Rovers.
“It’s been dreadful from the start to the end and it’s so frustrating when you see what we can do.
“I think we’ll have to win all three of our matches to give ourselves any chance, even then we’re relying on other teams.
“It shouldn’t be like that but that’s the position we’ve put ourselves in.
“But things have gone our way in terms of other results this week and we live to fight another day.
“It’s not over yet and we’ll keep fighting.”
And Walton points to the late-Winter upturn as evidence of their capability.
“We’ve done it before,” he stated.
“We went on that run and we needed to do that.
“Even during some of those games we did not play particularly well.
“But we had belief that we would win.
“I thought everyone was hitting form at the same time but then we reverted back to what it was like at the start of the season.
“We lost a couple and the belief went, we started looking to others to make things happen rather than taking responsibility ourselves.
“It’s all ifs, buts and maybes, but just one goal during a couple of those nil-nils would have changed things massively.
“But we’ve done well from what has been such a poor season to still be in with a chance.
“We are in a no-lose situation, nobody probably expects us to do it.”