JOHN Hughes still believes that Hartlepool United can escape their position at the bottom of League One.
Pools – 11 points from safety – venture to Shrewsbury Town tomorrow afternoon having won just one in nine under the Scot’s care.
That success, however, came at league leaders Sheffield United in the final match of 2012, and Hughes says that can give his men inspiration heading to Shropshire.
“We can take a lot of confidence from that Sheffield game,” he told SportMail today.
“If we can beat the league leaders at their place then nothing should hold fear for us.
“I still think with a couple of back-to-back wins we can get out of this.
“I’m looking around the lower reaches of the division and no-one is diving about bringing lots of players in.
“If we can carry a little bit more luck in front of goal then we are capable of beating anyone.”
The 3-2 win at Bramall Lane in Pools’ last away outing shocked all in football.
Nonetheless, it was a victory which was fully deserved and Hughes says his team-talk at New Meadow will not be complicated.
“The message is ‘same again’,” he said.
“That was a brilliant day and the boys gave everything I asked of them.
“I’m looking for leaders and I’m looking for guys who are motivated by this situation.
“I’m looking for guys who maybe read a newspaper and think ‘yeah, that will be right’ and they want to prove people wrong.
“I have seen evidence of that in the past few weeks.”
Pools are returning to action after an 11-day break – and Hughes cannot wait.
“What you’re looking for is consistency in performance and to build momentum, so it was frustrating not to have a game,” he went on.
“I’m the kind of guy who wants to play every week, I see it as a distraction if you don’t.
“Let’s just hope we can take the good work we’ve done on the training ground into the game.”