Hartlepool United’s Blair Adams has revealed the message Matthew Bates has given his players ahead of their Solihull Moors six-pointer.
Pools suffered a disappointing last gasp defeat to National League basement boys Guiseley at Victoria Park on Easter Monday.
It ended a five-game unbeaten stretch under Bates, which included three wins on the bounce.
Bates & Co take on fellow strugglers Solihull Moors on Saturday, and Adams thinks they’re ready to bounce back from Monday’s blow with another win to take them closer to fifth tier safety.
“We have to take confidence from our performances,” said Adams.
“The last two games we’ve not been as good as we have been.
“We came out with a great result on Friday (against Maidstone United) and we really should have won against Guiseley.
“Batesy has told us to keep our heads up.
“I don’t want to make excuses but I wonder if all those games in a short space of time have took it out of us?
“It was just one of the games we’ve not got the result we wanted. We’ll get rested up and then focus on Solihull.
“It was difficult conditions but I thought we dealt with the weather quite well, we played in worse at Fylde a couple of weeks ago.
“We just got done with a sucker punch at the end - it is again an individual error which has cost us dear in a big game, having done much of the hard work.”
With Saturday’s opponents having their match on Monday called off and the Moors sitting 21st - the final relegation slot - Pools missed the chance to extend the gap to 10 points.
But Adams is sure they will not miss another open goal this weekend.
“The aim was to make it four wins in a row,” said Adams.
“I think there were a couple of games called off for teams around us in the table so it was a chance to put more pressure on them.
“But you get games like that, how many times do you see matches where you dominate for 80 minutes and get hit by a sucker punch, it’s one of them things.
“We’re disappointed but we’ll go again on Saturday.”
In the corresponding fixture at Solihull last October, Pools won 2-1 thanks to a last-minute winner from Jonathan Franks.
Just four days after Michael Woods scored in the seventh minute of added time to beat Barrow, Franks netted in the last minute of normal time in front of a stunned record Damson Park crowd.
That victory made it six wins in nine games for Pools tand ruin Richard Money’s first game in charge of Solihull.
Pools had to ride the storm in the first-half, The Moors’ Darren Carter firing inches over and Dapo Afolayan forcing goalkeeper Scott Loach into a decent save.
Loach tipped a George Carline header onto the bar on the stroke of half-time, but the home side then found themselves a goal down from the first attack of the second half.
Pools’ two half-time substitutes made an immediate impact, Jack Munns crossing for striker Rhys Oates to turn the ball home.
Solihull thought they had rescued a point from the penalty spot with four minutes remaining, Carter scoring after Louuis Laing had brought down Moors sub Richard Brodie.
But there was late drama as a Munns free-kick was flicked on and Franks snatched a last-gasp winner.