SAM Collins feels a buzz back again at Hartlepool United.
Now he is looking to translate the feel-good factor into something more tangible – points.
The last time Pools took maximum points was the FIRST time the former skipper was caretaker manager.
That 2-1 win at Exeter was the best part of two months ago before the dark nights descended.
It hasn’t just been dark days since then – the whole place has been black and sombre.
However, the arrival of new owners TMH 2014 and their first boss, Ronnie Moore, has provided that buzz, that little spring in the step ahead of tomorrow’s League Two clash with Oxford United at the Vic.
“We can’t wait after what’s happened this week,” Collins told SportMail.
“When I was looking after things, I spoke a lot about trying to create some momentum.
“All this that’s happened over the last few days has provided a big lift.
“We’ve got to get that into the lads, then hopefully we can start winning matches and it should all build from there.
“If you do that the momentum can grow.
“When things are going well you win matches without really thinking about it that much, it’s about getting on a roll.
“At the moment everything feels like a slog, it’s been hard every day trying to lift everyone.
“Now, after all that’s happened, the takeover and new manager, we have to get a team that starts winning and then keep doing that and we’ll be fine.”
Given Pools have not won in eight weeks, it is remarkable they are still only six points from safety.
With three games in eight days over the festive period, there is scope for Pools to eat into the deficit in 2014.
“That’s exactly what we want,” explained the central defender. “It gives us that chance to try to get a lift.
“We have a new manager and the players have a point to prove.”
But for all the optimism, Oxford still have to be beaten. They are not going to come to the Vic and ‘lie down’ for Ronnie and Sam.
The U’s have won four and drawn two of their last eight league games and Moore said he was “frightened” by the quality of football he saw them play at his former club, Tranmere in the FA Cup in midweek.
However, Collins hopes Pools can start to turn things around, starting this weekend.
“Ronnie went to watch and I’ve seen recordings of three of their games,” he said.
“They are a good footballing team.
“From our point of view, we need to go about the game in the right way and make ourselves hard to beat.
“We have to get a good foothold in games and start to keep clean sheets.
“That’s important and then if we can bang a few in at the other end, we’ll be fine ”
Pools could be set for another ‘Morecambe day’ tomorrow with the club offering reduced ticket prices.
Collins hopes a bigger crowd and red-hot atmosphere will pay dividends.
“It would be fantastic,” he said. “One of the things I felt when I used to come and play here with different teams is that there is no better ground when the place is rocking.
“It’s absolutely brilliant. If our players can’t thrive on that then they shouldn’t be playing football.
“If you get a big crowd in with the fans behind you this is a fabulous place to play at.
“We’ve got to make this a ground which is horrible for teams to come and play.
“The fans can play a massive part in that.”