JOHN Hughes is desperately seeking his first home win as manager of Hartlepool United.
Four games at the Victoria Park helm has thrown up four defeats, just one goal scored in that period.
Certainly, on the road at least, he has a point and Pools have taken a win and a draw from their last two away from the North-East.
But on their own patch the record is woeful and not since the middle of October have they collected a home point.
And Hughes believes now is the time to transform fortunes at the Vic.
“If we want to get up that league we have to start picking up three points,” he told SportMail today.
“That is especially the case against teams around about us.
“I’m desperate for that first home win.
“We want to turn Victoria Park into a real fortress.
“Even if we’re not the best team in the league, and I know we’re not, everyone who comes to Hartlepool has to know they’ve been in a game.
“I’m told that teams used to hate coming to Hartlepool – we need to get back to that.
“We have to be ruthless if anything comes our way, we have to get the job done.”
The table has Pools some 12 points adrift of fifth-from-bottom Scunthorpe United and nine behind nearest rivals Portsmouth.
And it is Pompey – Pools’ opponents a week tomorrow – upon whom Hughes is setting his sights.
“Our aim right now is to catch the next team above us,” he went on, “And I feel the boys are up for this fight.
“I just feel we have the right mindset now and we’re going out there and giving it a really good shot.
“The next thing is to get a run of results.”
Hughes, though, is guarded in his approach with regards the hopeless form of their opponents.
“It can be dangerous building up expectation,” he said.
“Nine times out of 10 you get a kick up the backside – such as Sheffield United did when we went there.
“So I’m guarded against that and it’ll be more a case of what we do, we have to get our game right and not worry about anything else.”